Ice eggs batter Lake Erie coast in rare frozen phenomenon

Icy conditions gripped Lake Erie over the weekend, leading to a mesmerizing natural spectacle: the appearance of ice eggs along the shoreline. These spherical or egg-shaped ice formations, also known as ice balls, were captured on camera by Fort Erie fishing guide Denis Kreze.

Credit: Denis Kreze | X/Twitter

Ice eggs form when chunks of ice break off from a body of water and are smoothed by wave action and friction. Depending on the water’s turbidity and turbulence, they can range in colour from white to grey. With time and specific conditions, they can even grow to boulder size.

While filming the icy landscape on February 18, 2024, Kreze was unexpectedly doused by a wave, resulting in what he called a “major ice bath.” Thankfully, his camera documented the phenomenon before the icy splash.

Ice eggs are not unique to Lake Erie, having been observed on various shorelines worldwide, including the other Great Lakes, Europe, and Russia. They represent just one of the diverse shapes ice formations can take, alongside pancake ice, rime ice, and even chandelier ice.

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