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People Are Weirded Out By This Massive Disk Of Ice Spinning In A River In Maine

Even if you hate the cold, you have to appreciate that winter can be a stunningly beautiful season. I know, because I hate the cold myself, and yet I enjoy looking at it through a window in my toasty warm house.

Snow and frost give the landscape a serious makeover, but for the most part, it's all stuff we've seen before. But a massive ice disk in the middle of a river? That's a new one for most of us.

Mainers (Mainians? Mainites? Mainiacs?) in the town of Westbrook woke up to a strange surprise floating in the Presumpscot River: a massive disk of ice.

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It's almost perfectly round, about 100 yards in diameter, and it's just kind of spinning in place there, like a frosty lazy Susan.

Naturally, the locals have been absolutely captivated by the moon-like disk that's taken over the river.

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The marketing and communications manager for the city, Tina Radel, rushed down to the riverfront with her drone to take some frankly spectacular footage, posted on Vimeo, of the disk just doing its thing.

That's probably the coolest part of the disk: it hardly has to do anything to be completely mesmerizing.

Locals have been doing just like Tina and going out to take pics and vids of the disk and posting them to social media to share with the world. After all, how often does something so majestic happen?

Well, they're rare enough that folks on social media have been more than a little weirded out by the disk.

I'm honestly not sure how many people were jokingly suggesting this thing was made by aliens, and how many were serious. It's hard to tell them apart on the internet these days.

Of course, this ice formation has nothing to do with aliens.

At least one person recalled the strangely rectangular iceberg seen in Antarctica last year and asked Mother Nature to come up with a triangle next. Natural geometry lessons for the win!

There is a perfectly normal, rational, scientific explanation for how an ice disk like the one in Maine might form.

They are rare, however, requiring a perfect combination of temperatures in eddying waters, where the current flows more slowly than the rest of the river. "Since the water in the eddy is flowing more slowly than the main current, it’s more likely to freeze, creating the icy disk," John Huth, Donner professor of science at Harvard, told the Boston Globe. "The icy disk retains the rotation of the eddy, as it’s caught in it.”

It's unusual and beautiful enough to garner national media attention.

And actually bring them to the town of Westbrook, population 18,730. Mayor Michael Sanphy told ABC News that he hoped the disk would attract some tourists in addition to reporters.

It has at least attracted a few out-of-towners that have a unique way of enjoying the disk.

Ducks were seen riding around it like it was their own, huge merry-go-round. Nice to see so many taking in the spectacle, human and fowl alike, before a thaw comes along and ruins it all.

People (myself included) simply cannot get enough of this ice disk.

One local woman recounted watching the disk form slowly over time, saying, "About a week or so ago, I noticed this small, round piece of ice. And it would be swirling counterclockwise, just slowly."

And it didn't take more than a few days for that small, rotating disk to become a monster with a 300-foot diameter.

Ted Scambos, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said, "'s great that people are appreciating it while it's happening because these things won't last long."

What?! Say it isn't so! It seems our days with the ice disk are numbered.

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"They either break up by melting, or they freeze up harder to the bank and then break up in pieces later on," Scambos continued.

And true to form, the disk recently stopped revolving and is now still.

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Even though these events aren't totally uncommon, Scampos commented that the disk in Maine is the biggest version he has ever heard of.

It may be time to bid the giant ice disk adieu, yet there is no doubt that this event will become legend in the small town of Westbrook, Maine.

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And it seems as though the disk as already become prophetic!

Okay — so now we have an explanation, and now the fun is almost over...but... scientific as this explanation was, I have to say I don't mind the odd alien theory thrown in there!