The extraordinary sight of the egg-shaped balls of ice has been captured by amateur photographer Risto Mattila at the Scandinavian beach on Hailuoto Island in the Gulf of Bothnia between Finland and Sweden. The experts said that it is a very rare phenomenon in which small pieces of ice are rolled over by wind and water. Mattila who resides in the city of Oulu said he had never seen anything like this before.
He said that he was accompanied by his wife at Marjaniemi beach and the weather was quite sunny and windy with the temperatures hovering about -1C. He added that there he came across the amazing phenomenon of snow and ice eggs along the beach near the shoreline. Matilla said that the ice balls covered an area of about 30 m where the smallest was the size of the eggs and the biggest was the size of the footballs. He said that the spot was very scenic and beautiful and added he never came across such a wonderful sight like this during his 25 years of living in the vicinity. He further added that he captured the beautiful sight in his camera to preserve it and recall the memories in the future.
Weather expert George Goodfellow said that cold and windy conditions need to prevail for the formation of ice balls. He said that the ice eggs form from the pieces of the larger ice sheet which then gets pushed around by waves converting their shapes to rounder. He said that the ice eggs can expand when sea water freezes onto their surfaces which helps to make it smoother. It results in creating a ball of smooth ice that gets deposited onto a beach, either blown there or getting left there when the tide goes out. Similar sights have been reported before in Russia and Lake Michigan near Chicago. The residents of Nyda in Siberia came across giant balls of ice and snow covering an 18km stretch of coastline. They ranged from the size of the tennis ball to almost 1m across.