Giant Rotating Ice Disk Stops Moving

January 17, 2019 Updated: January 19, 2019

WESTBROOK, Maine—Maine’s giant spinning ice disk that quickly gained international fame seems to have met its end.

The formation in the Presumpscot River in Greater Portland stopped rotating on Jan. 16, two days after a video of its mesmerizing movement was widely shared on social media.

The roughly 100-yard wide disk is lodged against the river’s edge, preventing it from moving.

Meteorologist Ryan Breton tells the Portland Press Herald if the disk freezes into place, “that might be the end of it.”

The ice formation is believed to have formed naturally where there’s a circular current that creates a whirlpool effect.

Social media users compared it to an alien spacecraft and the moon, and ducks used it as a big raft.

How Was It Created?

Such rotating ice disks have been reported before. Last year, a similar rotating disk was reported in the Colorado River by The Denver Channel.

Ice discs have baffled physicist and environmental scientist for over a century, according to Science Alert, a digital science media.

The website describes ice discs to be created along in a river by little spinning currents called eddies that form when “water flows over rocks or into an enclosed space.”

It however also mentions that this doesn’t explain the entire phenomenon. If the rotation was caused by eddies, the small discs would spin faster than big discs. However, it has been observed that discs of varying sizes rotate at almost the same speed. And there have been reported incidences of icy discs rotating even on still water, according to Science Alert.

Locals are thronging to the spot with their drones and cameras to capture the beauty of the rare sight.

“One young fellow had a drone that he was flying to get good pictures, another fellow was trying to get a time-lapsed video but the ice sphere ended up drifting to the far side and getting caught on the banking,” said Brown.

Brown said the few people he met were seeing it for the first time after hearing about it in the news. “Another fella was there because his sister in New York had heard about it and so she heard about it before he did, so he came on his lunch break to see,” said Brown.

The video is abuzz on the internet as well. “Nature never stops doing amazing things,” commented netizen Clare Elaine Berntsen on the pictures of the ice disk posted on the City of Westbrook Facebook page.

City of Westbrook 发布于 2019年1月14日周一

A video of the disk posted on Twitter shows ducks on the icy carousel. “Honestly the best part of this ice disk are the ducks taking a ride on it,” tweeted local reporter, Taylor Gleason.

The Associated Press contributed to the report.

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