Giant spinning ice disc in river looks like the moon fell to Earth

A Maine city invites people to take selfies with the bizarre ice circle.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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The City of Westbrook released a drone's view of its insane ice circle.

Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

The City of Westbrook, Maine, is inviting fans of strange natural phenomena to come check out a massive ice disc rotating in the Presumpscot River -- and perhaps you could patronize some local restaurants while you're at it. 

"It looks like the moon has landed in Westbrook," the city wrote on its Facebook page when it shared a gorgeous drone video of the ice circle on Tuesday.

"The mysterious Ice Disk is still spinning today in Westbrook. Come down to the River Walk, take a selfie, and grab some lunch at one of our awesome nearby restaurants," the city later said on Facebook.

Though spinning ice discs are unusual, they're also well-documented. They occur in cold conditions in slow waters. An 1895 issue of Scientific American magazine referenced a "revolving ice cake" on the Mianus River in New York, calling it a "curious formation."

The Portland Press Herald reports the disc is roughly 300 feet (91 meters) in diameter. Observers likened it to a frozen crop circle. Bowdoin College physics professor Mark Battle told the Press Herald the circle's rotation is probably powered by the river current. 

The attention-grabbing ice circle will eventually melt away, but it's one of the most exciting things to happen along Westbrook's riverfront since a huge snake ate a beaver in 2016.

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