Giant spinning ice saucer forms in river

The “amazing naturally occurring phenomenon,” as officials have called it has captured people’s attention on Facebook

A giant spinning ice disk spanning 298 feet (91 meters) has suddenly appeared on a river in Maine.

Photos of the circle went viral after being posted by Tina Radel, the city's marketing and communications director.

Scientists say the formation of ice discs is rare but natural, but the surreal appearance of the disk has led to speculation of alien intervention.

An image taken by the City of Westbrook shows a massive ice circle that formed on the Presumpscot River.

Steven Daly of the Army Corps of Engineers' Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory told The New York Times that rotating ice disks don't occur frequently in the USA, with reports popping up once or twice a year.

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Drone footage shows it nearly stretching across the whole of the Presumpscot River in Westbrook, Maine, US. However, they don't tend to be as large as the one discovered in Westbrook.

Rob Mitchell, who owns a nearby office building, spotted the alien-looking disc on Monday morning and immediately notified the city.

The attention-grabbing formation is spinning counter clockwise and has served as a big raft for local birds, the TV station posted.

Ice discs like the one in ME are not uncommon when atmospheric conditions are just right, the Bangor Daily News reports.

The circles form in cold areas where slow moving water hits the outside bend of a river, creating a "rotational shear" which sends a piece of ice circling in an eddy. "I think it will continue to gain in thickness as long as it keeps spinning", said Mitchell, adding that the massive saucer acted as a giant Lazy Susan for ducks that chose to investigate it.

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