Thousands of eggs lay their eggs in a little town in Finland, nesting across the snow-covered beaches close to the freezing waters of the northern Baltic Sea, when the perfect conditions are met.
Residents of Hailuoto Island were perplexed by the strange occurrence along its shoreline and questioned why different-sized eggs were deposited on various beaches.
The snow-covered spheres, however, are actually organic ice sculptures created by Mother Nature rather than eggs. To find out more about some of these incredible ice formations seen all across the world, keep reading!
On a winter stroll with his spouse in 2019, amateur photographer Risto Mattila was on Hailuoto Island, a little island tucked away in the northern Baltic Sea.
Mattila told the BBC the day’s weather was sunny, around thirty degrees Fahrenheit, and somewhat windy.
Thousands of egg-shaped balls of ice have covered a beach in Finland, the result of a rare weather phenomenon. It occurred along the Marjaniemi beach on Hailuoto island. Photos by Risto Mattila pic.twitter.com/W01AovKZjB— severe-weather.EU (@severeweatherEU) November 8, 2019
The perfect conditions for what they were about to find.
“There we found this amazing phenomenon. There was snow and ice eggs along the beach near the water line,” said the man, who lives in the nearby Oulu.
The pair happened upon an incredible sight on Marjaniemi beach where hundreds of egg-shaped balls, some the size of footballs and others the size of eggs, filled an area of roughly 100 feet.
“That was an amazing view. I have never seen anything like this during 25 years living in the vicinity.”
According to BBC Weather expert George Goodfellow, “cold and a bit windy” conditions are necessary for the formation of ice balls.
“The general picture is that they form from pieces of larger ice sheet which then get jostled around by waves, making them rounder,” he said. “They can grow when sea water freezes on to their surfaces and this also helps to make them smoother. So, the result is a ball of smooth ice which can then get deposited on to a beach, either blown there or getting left there when the tide goes out.”
This implies that the amazing meteorological event is like a snowball that grows bigger and adds layers as it rolls through the snow.
The emeritus professor of geography and geology at Illinois State University, Dr. James Carter, explains, “A small ball surface gets wet, freezes and becomes bigger and bigger.”
According to Carter, who spoke with the Guardian, it’s like ice developing on the water’s surface and turning into slush as the waves stir it up.
“I can picture the back-and-forth motion of the surface shaping the slushy mix,” Carter said. “Thanks to the photographer who shared the photos and observations, now the world gets to see something most of us would never be able to see.”
These fascinating ice balls have been spotted all around the world.
Near the Gulf of Ob, a bay of the Arctic Ocean, inhabitants of northern Russia discovered enormous balls of ice and snow covering roughly 11 kilometers of shoreline. The spheres came in a variety of sizes, from tennis balls to nearly three feet in diameter. The melting spheres also created a wall shaped like a snowball.
In the northeastern Chinese province of Jilin, balls of ice trapped beneath the shiny frozen surface of a lake captured the attention of locals and visitors in February 2022.
Another breathtaking marvel was discovered in Michigan last year at the shores of Lake Michigan, where its temperature-driven dynamics frequently produce amazing ice structures, such as pancakes, tunnels, and ice volcanoes that shoot water.
Mother Nature has a natural talent for creating these exquisite sculptures, and her creations are breathtaking!
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