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Rare Occurrence: The Ice Ball Riddle
Rare Occurrence: The Ice Ball Riddle

This happens very rarely and usually in areas with harsh climates. Under certain weather conditions, ice balls, or, as they are also called, ice eggs, can form on the banks of water bodies. On such days, the entire coastline is dotted with white "balls", and this is a truly fantastic and mesmerizing picture.

Those who are lucky enough to see such ice balls are real lucky ones. Especially if you have a camera or phone with a high-quality camera at hand.

Everything should match

Scientists believe that for the formation of ice eggs in nature, several factors must coincide at once. The weather should not be very warm, but at the same time not very cold. Plus, there should be water nearby, as well as the wind, but not too strong. He drives water, which at this moment gradually freezes. According to a more accurate version, the balls are formed as a result of the fact that large chunks of ice are washed by water and at the same time rolled by the wind, as if it were about to make a snowman.

A rare and very unusual natural phenomenon

Natural miracle in Siberia

One of the cases of the formation of ice balls was recorded here in Russia. This happened five years ago in the northwestern part of Siberia, near the village of Nyda (which, by the way, was abolished as a settlement last year). A strange and beautiful sight appeared before the local residents in the Gulf of Ob. The 18-kilometer stretch of coast was covered with ice spheres, the diameter of which varied from relatively small (the size of a tennis ball) to almost one meter.

The old-timers assured that they had never seen anything like it in these parts before. Some eyewitnesses - for example, Aleksey Primak and Yekaterina Chernykh - rushed to take pictures against the backdrop of this amazing phenomenon. When else will you see this! And if you tell someone later, they won't believe it without a photo.

Ice eggs look like balls from the nursery

The appearance of the ice balls was immediately recognized by the media, and the news was reported on TV news. And the press secretary of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute Sergey Lisenkov even made a comment, explaining the prerequisites for the formation of such ice spheres. He said then that, as a rule, a primary natural phenomenon occurs first - slime ice (wet ice). This is followed by a combination of wind effects, coastline relief, temperature and wind conditions, as a result of which these original shapes of ice pieces can form.

Selfie on the background of ice balls

Ice eggs in Finland

In 2019, thousands of egg-shaped ice objects covered a beach in Scandinavia. They dotted the coast of Hailuoto Island, which is located in the Gulf of Bothnia between Finland and Sweden. The images of these "snowballs" were shared by amateur photographer Risto Mattila, who happened to be among those who accidentally saw this rare natural phenomenon.

sunny day

- I was with my wife on the Marjaniemi beach. The sun was shining, the air temperature was about minus one degree. The day was quite windy, - this is how Mattila described the weather at that moment.

In general, nothing special. However, this happened: the water turned into ice eggs, of which there were countless numbers.

Either balls of ice, or snowballs

- Snow and ice eggs lay on the shore along the water line, - said the man.

According to Risto Mattila's estimates, they covered an area of ‚Äč‚Äčabout 30 square meters like a carpet. He also clarified that the smallest balls were about the size of an egg and the largest were about the size of a soccer ball.

The ice balls were of different diameters

Risto Mattila is local. He lives next door in the Finnish city of Oulu.In a comment to the BBC correspondent, the Finnish photographer, like the inhabitants of Siberia who faced this natural phenomenon, admitted that he had never known about such a miracle of nature before.

- It looked amazing. In 25 years of my life in this area, I have never seen such a thing. And since I had a camera with me, I decided to record this unusual sight for posterity.

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