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Images of Peculiar Ice Circles Around Arctic Regions Confound Scientists

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Published on : Apr 24, 2018

NASA aircraft captured images over the Earth’s Arctic and Antarctic regions, and were taken aback by the presence of mysterious circles along the poles. The presence of three amoeba shaped holes in an unbroken, vast sheet of ice has left scientists baffled.

According to Walt Meier, one theory states could be considered is that the ice circles could be drainage feature, but it has not been proved yet. Chris Shuman, a glaciologist from University of Maryland at Baltimore County, suggest that area might be host to warm springs or underground water flowing from mountain inlands. 

John Sonntag, NASA’s Operation IceBridge mission scientist managed to capture these images on April 14, marking in his field log, “I don’t recall seeing this sort of thing elsewhere,” as reported by NASA. The holes were noted about 50 miles northwest of Canada’s Mackenzie River Delta, and although the main purpose of the trip was to make observations of sea ice, somehow the mysterious holes became the highlight of the trip.

IceBridge project scientist Nathan Kurtz reported that the captured image shows an area of thin ice because you can see finger rafting near the holes and the gray color, which indicates little snow cover. Kurtz echoed Sonntag's thoughts, saying he's never seen anything like the circles in the ice and isn't sure what could cause the semi-circle shaped features surrounding the holes.

At the moment, with only a photograph, what caused the holes will remain a mystery. At least until more information about the holes can be gathered.