Thousands of Ice Eggs Cover Finland Beach

A rare weather phenomenon in Finland shows smooth-looking ice balls covering a beach on Hailuoto Island
Ice accumulation at Hailuoto Island in Finland
Ice accumulation at Hailuoto Island in Finland

On Hailuoto Island in the Gulf of Bothnia--located between Finland and Sweden--nature played a funny trick and photographer Risto Mattila was lucky enough to spot it and click some photographs for posterity. What seemed like a scene out of a fantasy series became reality for the photographer at Marjaniemi beach, on a sunny yet windy day. He came across thousands of eggs, in various shapes and sizes, spread across the beach. Quite a rare weather phenomenon, the conditions need to be just right for something like this to happen.

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A post shared by Risto Mattila (@rismatti) on Nov 3, 2019 at 1008am PST

The weather needs to be cold, and a little bit windy for the ice to roll and take a smooth, egg-like shape--large chunks of ice sheets being rolled in the sea, up and down the waves would do the trick. Once formed, they are deposited on the shore by the tide or perhaps get blown to it by the wind and settle like snowballs. Similar to sea glass or stones, they can be as small as a fist or up to 1m across (As spotted in Siberia in 2016). Similar sights have been seen before in Russia and Chicago.

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