Thousands of bizarre ‘ice eggs’ have covered 100ft beach in Finland, which is the result of very particular weather conditions.
Jouni Vainio, an ice specialist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, said the occurrence was not common but could happen about once a year in the right weather conditions.
“You need the right air temperature (below zero, but only a bit), the right water temperature (near freezing point), a shallow and gently sloping sandy beach and calm waves, maybe a light swell,” he said.
“You also need something that acts as the core. The core begins to collect ice around it and the swell moves it along the beach, forward and back. A small ball surface gets wet, freezes and becomes bigger and bigger.”
Risto Mattila, who photographed the eggs, said “I was with my wife at Marjaniemi beach on Hailuoto island on Sunday when they came across the icy balls covering a 30-meter (98ft) expanse of shoreline. The weather was sunny, about -1C (32F) and it was quite a windy day,”
Amateur photographer Risto Mattila was among those who came across the “ice eggs” on Hailuoto Island in the Gulf of Bothnia between Finland and Sweden.
“The biggest of the eggs were about the size of a football. “It was an amazing view. I have never seen this phenomenon before” said Mattila.
Autumn is the perfect time to see the phenomenon, according to Dr. James Carter, emeritus professor of geography-geology at Illinois State University, as this is when the ice starts to form on the surface of the water, creating a form of slush when moved by waves.
“I can picture the back and forth motion of the surface shaping the slushy mix,” he 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.”
> Juthy Saha
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