On April 14th, a NASA aircraft called Operation Ice Bridge managed to capture some interesting images over the Beaufort Sea, about 50 miles northwest of the Mackenzie River Delta. Mission scientist John Sonntag is the one who actually obtained the weird images which show something that NASA cannot explain and has never seen before in the Arctic Sea ice. Some unusual circles or holes which, according to Sonntag, they were only able to see for a few minutes. He admitted that he has never seen such a thing anywhere in the world.
According to NASA, there are some things in their images which are known by scientists. Like the “finger rafting” ridges. However, the other weird circles are baffling scientists now. According to NASA, IceBridge project scientist Nathan Kurtz said that it’s clear that the particular area has very thin ice. The “finger rafting” ridges prove this because they are near the holes. Also, the grey color indicates the same thing, and very little snow cover. However, Kurtz has no idea what could lead to the formation of these semi-circles around the holes. He too admitted that he has never seen anything similar in his entire life.
Bizarre holes in the Arctic ice baffle experts
Experts are now trying to come up with theories that could explain this bizarre phenomenon and what lead to the formation of these holes. Some of them think that it could all be a drainage feature. Other experts believe that it might be because of the way water washes over ice and snow. At the same time, seals are coming up for air, leaving these mysterious holes behind.
They could also be simply warm springs or ground water flowing from the mountains. Chris Polashenski from the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory admitted to seeing such holes before. However, he was never able to explain them either. For now, they remain a complete mystery.
Image source: noaa.gov