A Rare Winter Spectacle

A great winter here in Michigan, with all of the amazing and rare blue ice “glaciers” on the Great Lakes. Photographers came from all over the world to capture the rare spectacle this year. Below is a stunning drone capture of the Straits of Mackinac, five hours north of Detroit, where I spent most of my summers and weekends as a kid and young-ish adult. What is blue ice?

Blue ice occurs when snow buries and compresses a glacier, squeezing out air bubbles and allowing light to pass through to the water below. “The longer the path light travels in ice, the more blue it appears,” the National Park Service explained in a post online.

“The ice appears so blue because it’s compressed so tightly that all air has been ‘squeezed’ out of the ice, preventing the passage of light, absorbing the red end of the light spectrum,” Dilworth described. “This allows only the blue hue to reach our eye.”

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6:58 am on March 7, 2018