What Are These Rotating Circles Of Ice Also Called A Vertical Vortex Seen In Rivers Around The World (VIDEO)

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An outdoor enthusiast has observed a peculiar phenomenon, which sometimes occurs on rivers in the middle of winter.

Herven Horth, who lives near Paspébiac in the Gaspé, noticed a perfect circle of ice, spinning on the Paspébiac River, a first at this place, according to him.

Mr. Horth does a lot of snowshoeing. He surveyed the area at least 70 times this winter, and more than a hundred times last winter. He has never observed this phenomenon before.

“It can’t be normal,” he said to himself instantly, seeing the perfect circle in motion.  

He inquired and noted that this type of phenomenon occurs from time to time.

The circle he saw was about 8 feet (2.5m) in diameter.


Ice circles have always fascinated people and scientists since the late 19th century, when a reader of Scientific American described a spinning ice circle on the Mianus River near Bedford in New York.

Since then, the conventional explanation for this unusual phenomenon of rotation is that the vortices present in the water form a heap of ice, and by turning, this ice ends up forming a perfect circle.

“Since the water in a vortex flows more slowly than the mainstream, it is likely to freeze, creating the frozen disc,” said experimental physicist John Huth of Harvard University to the Boston Globe.

A combination of fusion and shear effects continually shapes the edges of the disc, keeping it perfectly round, report several popular science sites that have looked into the matter.


But how does the disc turn regularly without stopping?

A 2016 experiment made it possible to recreate the natural phenomenon in the laboratory, where there was no vortex, and concluded that something else was to contribute to the rotation of the disc.

In this study, the researchers found that when the water in the disc melted, it slipped under the circle.

In doing so, the water generated a “vertical vortex” under the disc which induced the rotation of the block of ice located above. Thus, the disc itself rotates, but without the contribution of the current of water or vortex.

The warmer the water, the faster the disc will spin.

In the end, this moving disc generates a lot of energy thanks to the force of the water.

Hervent Horth intends to return to the river to see if the disc is still there and if it has changed shape.

Unfortunately, we do not have the Gaspe video. However, below is an example of the Vertical Vortex  …


Source: TVANouvelles