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Hello, Blue Ice!
Over the weekend, photographers and nature-lovers across Michigan flocked to the Mackinac Bridge to see the stunning blocks of blue ice that had formed around the structure.
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The frozen blocks got their blue hue because the lake ice, where lake Michigan and Huron met, had no bubbles. This allowed for short wavelength light to penetrate and scatter in the water and reflect back through the ice, George Leshkevich, a field scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann, told USA Today.
"In deep, midlake water, where chlorophyll content is low, the reflection of the water can make the ice look even bluer," he said.
The phenomenon commonly appears in glaciers.
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A Photographer's Dream
Tori Burley, of Trillium & Pine Photography and Design, says she's been waiting seven years for a chance to photograph such big blocks of blue ice.
"When my dad texted me I couldn't wait to get back up there to see it and take photos," Burley tells PEOPLE. "It was a last minute plan, but I was like a little kid, so excited and ecstatic to see, venture on and photograph it again."
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You Need to Be Quick
With spring fast approaching, the ice in the Mackinac Straits is beginning to melt.
"The crazy part is how they can disappear so quickly after showing up. Just a day or two and you can completely miss it," Burley told USA Today. "It's amazing, and it doesn't happen this big that often, which makes it even more exciting."
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Dustin Dilworth, of Gaylord, told Fox News that he traveled to witness the phenomenon on Monday.
"In the Straits of Mackinac, these ice stacks can be as high as a three-story building," Dilworth said.
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'It's Finally Here!'
An excited Burley shared photos of the blocks on Facebook, gushing about the rare blue ice sighting.
"In 2011 I saw the coolest thing ever! Giant mountains of ice along the shore. I've oh so patiently been waiting for it to happen again, and it's finally here!"
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The Perfect Scene
Photos of the scene showed the massive ice blocks stacked high, and laying low beneath the bridge. Photographers and nature-enthusiasts snagged artsy shots of birds flying over the sheets.
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