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Rare, Rotating Disc of Frozen Ice Reappears in China as Rivers Start to Freeze

The fascinating ring of ice that rotates in water has resurfaced in China | Image credit: File

The fascinating ring of ice that rotates in water has resurfaced in China | Image credit: File

The mesmerising ice disc, 20-ft in diameter, appeared in teh Genhe river in China's Genhe city on Wednesday.

A large, spinning ice disc was recently spotted on the bank of a river in northern China. The beautiful footage is being widely shared on social media. The naturally occurring ice disc had a diameter of approximately 20 feet.

According to the Chinese state media, the ice disc appeared on Wednesday near a neighbourhood in the western suburbs of Genhe city in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Genhe is commonly known as “China's pole of cold”. It is known for having extreme temperatures in winter which generally lasts for about eight months. This particular day, when the ice disc formed, the temperature hovered between minus four and minus 26 degrees Celsius.

The ice disc can be seen rotating in an anti-clockwise direction along a partially frozen waterway. The residents were delighted to see the rare occurrence clips of which are now being watched all over the world. The view of the disc spinning gently within that white landscape is mesmerizing indeed.

A similar ice disc was spotted last year in the same city, Genhe, when an ice disc measuring about 6.6 feet diameter rotating in an anti-clockwise direction had appeared on the Genhe River.

Check out the Ice Disc from November 2019:

Ice discs, which are also called ice circles, ice pans or ice crepes, are formed when the ice melts and sinks into the nearby water body and due to the fact that warm water is less dense than cold water, it creates a vortex underneath the chunk, which causes it to rotate. Gradually, as the ice plate melts away, the whirlpool effect begins to disappear until the edges remain to form a perfectly round shape.

The first rotating ice disc was recorded on the Mianus River in the US and published in the Scientific American in 1995. One of the largest recorded ice discs was sighted last year in the Presumpscot River in downtown Westbrook, Maine. It reportedly measured about 300 feet in diameter.


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