Stunning ice volcanoes spotted 'erupting' in frozen Lake Michigan in rare clip

RARE ice volcanoes have been spotted on Lake Michigan thanks to a recent cold snap.

The strange phenomenon sees snowy cones "erupting" with water – and were luckily caught on camera over the weekend.

Ice volcanoes form when water is pushed up underneath a sheet of ice.

Temperatures typically need to be below freezing for the ice volcanoes to properly form.

That's why it's not hugely surprising that they appeared at Lake Michigan's Oval Beach, where temperatures have been as low as 17.6F / -8C this week.

Footage was captured by the National Weather Service for Grand Rapids, Michigan.

"It was a great day to visit the beach and watch the waves interact with the ice," the NWS tweeted.

"Here's a couple "ice volcanoes" erupting at Oval Beach on Sunday, February 16, 2020."

The video shows water bursting up through cones of snow.

You can see waves moving across the lake, which is what's really causing the volcanoes.

Lake Michigan – the key facts

Here's what you need to know…

  • Lake Michigan is one of North America's five Great Lakes
  • It's the second largest by volume (at 1,180 cubic miles) and third largest by surface areas (22,404 square miles)
  • Its average depth is 279 feet, and its greatest depth is 923 feet
  • The Lake Michigan basin is joined with Lake Huron through the Straits of Mackinac, so they're technically a single lake
  • Lake Michigan is unique in that it's the only Great Lake to be located entirely within United States territory
  • It's shared by Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin
  • The word Michigan comes from the Native American word Ojibwe, which means "great water"
  • Around 12million people live along Lake Michigan's shores, primarily in Chicago and Milwaukee

Unlike real volcanoes, which work through a complex relationship of geological movements, pressure and heat, ice volcanoes form in a much more simple way.

"Ice volcanoes commonly occur during the winter months along the north shore of Lake Superior," Michigan Technological University explained.

"Cones begin to form at the leading edge of the ice shelf as it builds out into the lake.

"When the waves, driven by strong onshore winds, feel bottom they build and break onto the ice shelf.

"After the ice shelf has built out, waves continue to travel underneath the ice and are forced up through cracks and previously formed cones."

According to scientists, the best ice volcanoes are formed when there are high onshore winds to create big waves.

They also say that air temperatures near to be several degrees below freezing, otherwise the cone will "degrade" during eruptions.

In other news, a deep sea volcano created a new Pacific island.

Russia has discovered five new islands we never knew existed.

And, here's a roundup of Earth’s most terrifying holes – from 40,000 feet ‘well to hell’ to fiery pit of poisonous gas.

Have you seen any snow this year? Let us know in the comments!

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