As if 50-degree temperatures and heavy rains weren’t enough of a threat, a 300-foot-wide, perfectly formed ice floe that has been drawing crowds to Westbrook, Maine, suffered chopping and hacking Thursday by a man who said he wanted to turn the disk into a giant peace sign. Christopher Angelo, 44, of Lavallette, N.J., brought a pickax, a hatchet, an umbrella, a tarp, and a small chain saw with him aboard an inflatable raft and set out on the Presumpscot River, the Portland Press Herald reports. The disk formed last week and was rotating in the river before freezing in place Tuesday. "I want it to spin around so bad,” Angelo told WGME, "and create that visual for the world to see, of peace making the world go around right here in Westbrook.” Angelo wasn't able to pull it off, however, and it wasn't clear if he would try again.
Ice disks have evoked crop circles and UFOs, but the Washington Post detailed the science of their creation, saying they’re natural a natural occurrence, though only in certain places. The Westbrook one, which now has its own webcam, is bigger than most. It’s not clear how long it will stay that way; it’s scarred but still locked in place after the visit by Angelo, who also said he wanted to study it. The city’s Facebook page conceded it was "a rough day for the ice disk.” Police received complaints while Angelo was at work, but Capt. Sean Lally said there’s no law against chopping river ice. He did say he can’t imagine why someone would travel there to cut out the disk, which has been good for business in the city. “I do know that the river will continue to flow and the Maine winter is far from over,” he said, "so Mr. Angelo might want to seek long-term accommodations.” (Read more Maine stories.)