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Giant spinning ice disk draws crowd of chilly onlookers in Maine

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The giant, spinning ice disk in Westbrook appears to be frozen in place after the coldest temperatures of the season so far. (Photo: Mayor Michael Foley)

WESTBROOK, Maine (TND) — A giant, spinning disk of ice is drawing a chilly crowd back to the banks of a river in Westbrook, Maine.

The disk once again started forming on the Presumpscot River this week and appeared to freeze in place after the coldest temperatures of the season thus far.

Officials have warned the public against walking out onto the ice, saying, "It is not safe." Dog-walkers and onlookers said it was still quite something to see, even if it wasn't swirling Thursday.

"I think it's great. I think it's amazing," Jocelyn Sawyer told WGME. “This is my first time ever seeing it because I don't live here. I live in Virginia, so we don't really get things there like that."

Westbrook Mayor Michael Foley shared aerials of the ice disk Wednesday to show just how big it's gotten.

The disk drew fans from around the globe when it first appeared in the river in 2019, measuring roughly 100 yards wide. It also partially formed in 2020.

The phenomenon is caused when water forms a current and vortex under the ice, The Associated Press reports. The ice sheets spin and form into circles. But ice disks this large rarely form in locations like Westbrook.