It’s still winter in the Northern Hemisphere – far too early for crops and crop circles – so whoever or whatever makes them made the best of bad weather in Alabama and created some mysterious and beautiful circles on a frozen creek, not a state where it generally gets cold enough for creeks or lakes to freeze. Ice and weather experts are baffled. Could these ice circles be a warning from aliens to start paying attention to climate change?
“First thing I do in the mornings when I get up is open our shutters to look at the water from our bedroom window. I was so surprised. It appeared a bit frightening, since we had no idea what caused it. We quickly went outside onto our deck and then to our lower deck to see this amazing sight. It looked like crop circles you might see when you are looking from an airplane.”
So began a very unusual February 18th for Wynelle Kirkham of Rogersville, 45 miles west of Huntsville. She told a reporter who saw the photos on Facebook that she and her husband lived in their home on a 60-foot bluff facing the 200-yard-wide Anderson Creek for 15 years and have never seen anything like that view on February 18th. After analyzing the photos (see them here), local meteorologist Kate McKenna gave her professional opinion that creek froze near the shoreline first because it’s shallow there, followed by the wind blowing thin pieces of ice to the middle. As that process repeated itself overnight, the concentric rings formed like those inside a tree. However, she emphasized that this was just a “theory” and opened the floor to other meteorologists.
“This pattern occurs when moving water forces the forming ice to slowly rotate. Shear is involved ... When on one side of the creek you have water that’s moving faster than on the other side causing the ice to form in swirls.”
James Spann, a meteorologist at a competing station, didn’t like the broken sheets of ice theory and blamed the circles all one the wind and freezing water. Followers of all posters argued as well, with many preferring the same aliens blamed for the crop circles in England and other European countries. No one seemed to think they were human-made – no footprints or frozen bodies bobbing in the middle of them.
Ice circles are rare but not unheard of. In 2019, a giant mysterious figure appeared on the ice on the south side of Qinghai Lake, a salt lake in Haitai, China. Ice on a salt lake? That’s mysterious enough, but the ice circles also had a shape that seemed oddly familiar – they looked suspiciously like the logo of an automotive company called AION. How did they do it? You probably had to buy a car to find out. Siberia’s mysterious Lake Baikal is well known for its ice rings which defied explanation until 2020 when underwater sensors found warm eddies swarming in circles under the ice, making the rings.
Both Qinghai Lake and Lake Baikal have had ice circles that could be explained. Will the mysterious rings on Anderson Creek be solved before the weather returns to normal and they’re never seen again?
Of course not. Aliens don’t give up that easily.