Spinning Ice Disc Appears In Michigan River

Posted: Jan 14 2017, 5:31am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Spinning Ice Disc Appears in Michigan River
Credit: MLive

The ice disc is slowly rotating and offers a spectacular view

An incredible ice disc floating in the Michigan river has grabbed the attention of thousands worldwide.

The perfectly round-shaped disc of ice is slowing rotating in a frozen river and providing a startling view for onlookers.

A Michigan resident Jason Robinson spotted the spinning ice disc on the Pine River last week and filmed it from the Schmied Road bridge over the river in the town of Vestaburg.

“I've seen some pretty cool stuff in the woods - things you don't expect to see.” Robinson told MLive.

The phenomenon is completely natural and has been spotted many of times before but exactly how it forms has been baffling scientists. Some suggest that ice discs form when cold, dense air interacts with a swirl of water known as eddy and went on to make rotating circles. But the theory apparently goes against the law of physics because if the circular movement of water was spinning the solid rings of ice, then smaller discs would spin faster than larger discs, but research proves that all the discs spin at the same rate. Moreover, they are even spotted in those waters where eddies do not exist altogether and you won’t expect this kind of rotation.

In a paper published in Physical Review E in March 2016, scientists from Liège University from Belgium simulated the condition of rotating ice disc in frozen rivers using a nickel bead, a magnet, and Petri dish. Surprisingly, the ice sheet started spinning even before adding eddies to the model, suggesting that the rotation is likely caused by some unique properties in melting ice – not by the current of the river.

The rotating ice discs have been known for years and can vary in sizes from 3 feet to almost 700 feet.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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