Maine's Spinning Ice Disk Returns

It formed over a vortex in the Presumpscot River
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 13, 2022 12:15 PM CST
Maine's Spinning Ice Disk Returns
The Westbrook ice disk has returned to the Presumpscot River below Saccarappa Falls, as seen in this photo from Westbrook, Maine.   (Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via AP)

Maine's famous rotating ice disk is back. The disk has begun to form in the Presumpscot River, where it partially formed in 2020 but failed to draw a worldwide audience like in its first appearance in 2019. Westbrook city officials shared photos of the formation Wednesday on Facebook, encouraging residents to share more images of the disk while it’s still around, the AP reports. Ice disks form as a result of a current and vortex under the ice. Ice sheets begin to spin and then form into circles.

But ice disks this large rarely form in locations like Westbrook. City officials discouraged anyone from attempting to go out on the ice: "It is not safe." Three years ago, a 100-yard-wide ice formation appeared in the river for the first time and brought international attention to Westbrook before it dissipated with the advent of warmer weather. (A man with a chainsaw, hacksaw, and other tools failed to turn the disk into a peace symbol in 2019.)

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