An Unusual Phenomenon: Huge Ice Balls Hit the Russian Shore

Russia faced an extraordinary natural phenomenon. Thousands of giant ice balls hit the shores after a strong polar storm this week.
Interesting Engineering

Over the last several days, Siberia got clobbered by massive snowstorms. Locals of the Nyda Village of North Russia faced an extraordinary natural phenomenon. Thousands of giant ice balls hit the shores of the Gulf of Ob Yamal after a strong polar storm.

Nyda is a small village located on the coast of the Gulf of Ob Yamal and typically faces harsh snowstorms. But this one has left dozens of huge ice balls with a diameter around 10 to 25 centimeters on the seaside. Some of the orbs are as wide as 1 meter.

The locals were surprised by these rare natural formations, which are formed due to the snowfall and appeared subsequent heavy storms.

Source: VK

"At this time, it dropped a lot of snow, and the water came along the coast, have formed clumps of snow and ice and when it started to surf. Strong waves began to break up the mass of snow into pieces and roll them on the sand. Chunks of ice began to grow. And shaped the balls of different sizes" said Valery Togo, the administer of the village Nyda.

He explained the origin of ice balls thanks to the experts of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI).

Source: VK

Sergei Lisenkova, spokesman of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute also said:

"It is a rare natural phenomenon. As a rule, these first primary natural phenomena grease ice and slush. And then a combination of the speed of the wind, the outlines of coastline and the temperature and wind conditions is shaping the ice. It can be such a combination of the original, which leads to the formation these spheres "

Source: VK

An unusual natural phenomenon

These seem reminiscent of hail storms. However, these spheres are considerably larger than most hail.

According to Shea Gunther from MNN, this is not the first occurrence of these orbs. People have encountered these extraordinary ice boulders along the shores of other places in recent years. She says that if you know how oysters make pearls, you can easily understand this phenomenon.

Source: VK

"They start out life as a small chunk of ice in the water. Like the oyster's sandy seed, the small chunk of ice grows by thin measures as it tumbles in the waves. Ice boulders can only form when the air is cold enough for the water to instantly freeze and the lake is cold, but not too cold. A stiff breeze helps to churn things up. When a face of the ice boulder is hit with the water from a wave, it freezes in the cold air, getting just a bit larger in size. After hours of tumbling, what started out as a small chunk of ice can grow to the behemoths you see in the videos above and below. It doesn't happen often, so when it does, it's something to celebrate and take note of."


These orbs were seen in the Gulf of Finland on December 2014 and on Lake Michigan in December 2015, the website says.

Via Strange Sounds

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