This is a big week for travel. Christmas falls a week from today, so if you are hitting the road for the holidays, keep your eyes peeled for fun and interesting things, as you never know when you'll spot something. For instance this weekend my wife shared with me a post from a friend that highlighted a really fun, and often rare phenomenon that can occur here in the upper Midwest. Ice disks!

Check out what's happening on the Red River! This natural phenomena, sometimes called ice discs, happens when moving water breaks off pieces of ice that are spun and slowly sheared into smooth circles from surrounding barriers or other pieces of ice. They can vary in size from just a few inches to multiple feet wide.

Thank you to Roxane Salonen for sharing! Taken in Fargo.

Travel North Dakota shared the above photos, showing the rare ice disks floating on the Red River in Fargo.

Some people call them ice pancakes, as evidenced by this Reddit post from Detroit Lakes last winter.


Ice Pancakes forming on river near Detroit Lakes, MN
byu/Ilovecarbonates inminnesota

Whatever you call them they certainly are pretty neat to look at. But how are they made? wrote about a GIANT ice disk in Maine in 2019 and they stated that ice disks: "Ice disks/circles tend to form on the outer bends of rivers where the accelerating water creates eddy currents,“ said Jason Nicholls, senior meteorologist and manager of international forecasting for AccuWeather."

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