Westbrook residents in Maine discovered an interesting phenomenon that left them wondering if they were being visited by extraterrestrial visitors.
Slowly spinning counter clock-wise in the Presumpscot River was a massive disk of ice that scientists assured was simply a natural occurrence, albeit, a very rare one.
The disc that closely resembles the moon is supposedly formed with the help of a cross current creating a whirlpool in frigid temperatures.
But is it as simple as that?
The aliens have stationed a large rotating disk of ice in the middle of the Presumpscot River in Westbrook, Maine. https://t.co/BkeVqFRB06— Tom (@Tom)1547604863.0
However, the exact cause of the icy disc eludes University of Southern Maine physics professor, Paul Nakroshis.
The professor told Maine Public Radio that "It's probably formed — and this is speculation — by the aggregation of small little bits of ice or in an initial big chunk of ice that, because of initial rotation, little pieces of ice glob onto it."
He referred to research found in a monthly scientific journal, called Physical Review E, "in which the researchers created a small ice disk in the laboratory and found that it rotated. But in the preface to their paper they say that the creation of these disks is actually not well understood."
WATCH: Check out this unusual sight captured on drone video this week. A massive, spinning disk of ice formed in th… https://t.co/DPiReUQ2DZ— KOAA News5 (@KOAA News5)1547625632.0
He described the conditions contributing to the unusual sight that is captivating Westbrook residents.
"The paper that I referenced talks about the cause of the rotation being the ice melting underneath the disk, and as it melts the water sinks downward and causes a vortex that causes the disk to rotate."
@Chris_Lee_Cal @dahthunderbird @KOAA What’s The Deal With The Westbrook Ice Disk? Scientists Aren’t Really Sure Eit… https://t.co/3bo2XxUH41— brifokine (@brifokine)1547656970.0
But Nakroshis found that the spinning glacial matter in Maine did not necessarily correspond with the conditions mentioned from the research paper.
"However, based on my reading of the paper, the water in the Westbrook river is not actually warm enough to cause the effect that the paper talks about."
"So most likely the cause of the rotation is just the river water going by the disk and once it starts rotating in that direction it's probably going to continue."
@nytimes This just in: scientists confirm cold water temperatures cause ice 😂— Mcfakyourself (@Mcfakyourself)1547639595.0
@nytimes That’s so beautiful. I’m legit jealous I’m not there to see it in person. I wonder if there’s a practical… https://t.co/E8NF6AI7jr— Chris Subagio 🔊🃏 (@Chris Subagio 🔊🃏)1547663267.0
@KOAA Please stop calling it “unusual”. It’s usual. These ice patterns form all the time.— .A F R O L A T I N A 🇨🇷. (@.A F R O L A T I N A 🇨🇷.)1547645937.0
@TEDX2000 @RachelOsiris Perfect recreation of fluid dynamics of blood clot formation in a vessel or valve area.— Ken (@Ken)1547676465.0
It's time for a re-christening.
@TEDX2000 Maybe it needs to be renamed Moon River?— Gretchen Bakies 😻🌷🌹📚✂ (@Gretchen Bakies 😻🌷🌹📚✂)1547666467.0
Meanwhile, people braced themselves for the Flat Earthers to start their theorizing.
@TEDX2000 Here come the #FlatEarthers 🙄 https://t.co/tDLJlL5tp4— Maddow’s Backhand (@Maddow’s Backhand)1547668481.0
@TEDX2000 Wow!! So the moon is flat too huh?.— Charles Martinez (@Charles Martinez)1547643637.0
@nytimes Further proof of a flat earth!— Power Cage #wsjkillskids (@Power Cage #wsjkillskids)1547603884.0
People preferred speculating over listening to scientific lectures.
@KOAA Obviously a time travel vortex— Jim Flanigan (@Jim Flanigan)1547662041.0
@TEDX2000 @jezzebelle277 https://t.co/MQh8SmD6ta— MassAve Curmudgeon (@MassAve Curmudgeon)1547647182.0
@TEDX2000 I don't know about you, but I think I see a face in that disc....:)— Michael Britt (@Michael Britt)1547639812.0
@nytimes Looks like the moon crashed into the river— FatesPeak (@FatesPeak)1547611294.0
@nytimes It's the landing pad for the mother ship its coming we aren't alone.— adam (@adam)1547635981.0
@RyanBretonWX THIS is what happens when you divide by 0 https://t.co/SrETy7URKu— Nadie (@Nadie)1547641752.0
@RyanBretonWX I bet if you jump through it you’ll find @McConaughey and MURPH— Gator Boy (@Gator Boy)1547650156.0
Whatever it is, this is the bottom line.
@KOAA Nature is awesome— MiamiNice57💎 (@MiamiNice57💎)1547653982.0
@RyanBretonWX 🌎The earth reminds us every day how miraculous it is-We owe it to take care of it not just for future… https://t.co/GS34iVVK16— Jennydjld (@Jennydjld)1547652065.0
Westbrook is seven miles away from Portland and is experiencing a surge of interest with all the media coverage for their arctic wonder, according to NPR.
The city hopes to lure more visitors before warmer temperatures melt it all away.