The Freezing of Lake Michigan: It Looked Like It’d Shattered Into Mesmerizing Ice Patterns

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The Midwest experienced a bizarre polar vortex winter storm in February 2019, with temperatures in Chicago, Illinois reaching just under -23 degrees Fahrenheit.

This freezing temperature resulted in the formation of ice shelves on Lake Michigan. However, it’s now the onset of the spring season and moving water underneath the ice has pushed the sheets to the surface. This has shattered them into mesmerizing patterns making it look like a work of art.

Breaking The Ice

This was one of the coldest winters in recent years that Chicago experienced. The freezing of Lake Michigan shouldn’t come as a surprise though due to the freezing temperatures. However, in March 2019, warm weather set in and every person in the Windy City breathed a sigh of relief that spring had finally come and would stay.

The lake transformed into a unique region of ice shards since the warm weather destroyed the ice.

At the beginning of the month, fifty-six percent of the Great Lake was covered by ice, but the rising temperatures have caused it to start melting. The warm water flowing beneath the ice forced the ice sheets to the surface, shattering them into unique, dazzling patterns.

Nature’s Work of Art

The patterns of ice closely looked as if an artist had crushed the ice along Lake Michigan and selected the patterns exclusively. The shards of ice were so delicately crafted together you wouldn’t think it was a work of nature. Even someone like Leonardo Da Vinci or Michelangelo couldn’t have replicated this masterpiece work of art on the lake.

Tourists traveled to Michigan’s South Haven Pier, the best location to witness this extraordinary visual masterpiece.

No one wanted to miss the opportunity to take a photo of the ice shards. These tourists couldn’t get enough of the spellbinding patterns. However, the U.S. Coast Guard warned that this spectacle is dangerous despite it being gorgeous.

Nothing But Ice

While the frozen imagery would surely look incredible up close, the US Coast Guard has warned tourists and locals enjoying the scene to stay off the ice. The U.S. Coast Guard BMC Grant Heffner said, “No ice is safe, especially this time of the year.” He also added, “The ice is certainly deteriorating and breaking up.”

The fact that the ice is fractured into thousands of pieces should be enough indication the surface isn’t very stable. Those razor-sharp icy edges look like they’d have no problem causing some damage.

However, it won’t be long before Lake Michigan is fully melted and back to its liquid state, so residents and visitors should enjoy the Elsa-worthy scene while they can. Disney could save some time on the animation by heading over there and shooting some background scenes for Frozen 2.

Therefore, you should always be careful the next time you see a frozen lake or pond. Always stay with a  friend and do not step on cracked ice. There is no photograph or a million number of Instagram likes that is worth risking your life for.