Giant ice balls in Yamal. Russia
The villagers of Nyda in Nadym region of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Russian Federation, have witnessed a very unusual natural phenomenon – 18 kilometers of the coast of the Ob not far from the village is covered by large ice “snowballs.” It’s quite a rare anomaly in general, and in this region this has happened for the first time – a lot of ice balls with a diameter from 10 centimeters to half a meter!
The photographs have already been scattered over the social networking sites and very quickly. The Russians comment on this with characteristic to them sense of humor: “Under the cover of night, bored without winter Ded Moroz (Santa Claus) has rolled up the balls for snowmen. But apparently someone had frightened him off, and the snowmen have remained just balls!”
Scientists claim that the warm autumn and heavy snowfalls have led to the formation of these giant snowballs. Water in the river came having formed an accumulation of snow and ice masses on the shore. When a combination of the forces of the wind and the tide came into effect, and multiplied by the temperature fluctuations, the amazing ice balls have been formed. Such an explanation was given by the representative of the Arctic and Antarctic Scientific Research Institute Sergey Lisenkov.
To be more precise, first, water in the river becomes frozen, then the wave breaks it into pieces, the layer of small crystals of ice on the water surface – a slosh – thickens, then gets more frozen and becomes transformed into a slush, which in its turn becomes a frazil.
Then, the wind force, a specific shape of the coastline and the wind-temperature conditions have led to the formation of such giant snowballs. And we see a kind of magic!
What can I say – nature has decided not to wait for the official winter and has already started the fun! Our planet is a wonderful world! And as for Russia, it is full of wonders! Especially in with regard to snow and ice.