Ice Pancakes, or Pancake Ice is something Mother Nature throws together when conditions are right. They can appear on rivers, lakes, and even in the ocean, varying in size and even consistency.
Looking like strange lily-pad formations at times, they develop the raised edges after first forming as pancake ice by the action of waves jostling pieces of smooth ice together repeatedly.
National Geographic just did a short article about this, saying:
Strange-looking formations that resemble frozen lily pads have appeared this week on Scotland’s River Dee, drawing Internet attention from around the world. Called “ice pancakes” or “pancake ice,” the natural formations occur when conditions are just right.
And being National Geographic, they naturally provided some interesting photographs you’ll want to see.
Sometimes the life of ice pancakes continues on too, often forming sheet ice after melding together.
Thereafter, it can get even stranger:
If the ice gets thick enough, and the water is rough enough, the ice can bend, fracture, and pile up on itself, forming what are called ice ridges.
It’s an understatement to say that ice pancakes are not for eating!
News to Share Brief source: “Explaining Mysterious ‘Pancake Ice’ on River in Scotland” by Brian Clark Howardon for National Geographic
Pancake Ice image by Josh Bongard (Public domain) via Wikimedia Commons