Rare, Icicle Formations Emerge Near Scranton

Annette Krinke and her husband, Bryan, discovered an extremely rare phenomenon near their home, south of Scranton. While checking on coyote traps, the couple discovered what looked like several petrified geysers blasting up from the frozen waters of the North Grand River that runs next to their pasture. The tallest geyser was measured at an extraordinary 85 inches!

By Andy Roehl

Annette soon learned that, throughout the several generations of her family over the past 85 years, the phenomenon had never been seen on the property. Knowing what they had was unique, to say the least, Annette and Bryan quickly took pictures and videos of the frozen formations.

Their images became viral on Facebook and news outlets across North Dakota. Annette was contacted by a meteorologist from KVRR-TV out of Fargo, who provided a theory on the rare, frosty structures:

“One of my professors in college had a great collection of photos of this phenomena on his farm in upstate New York and he did a pretty extensive study of them. It likely has much to do with cows. The cows’ urine gets into the stream and creates foam which bubble up in eddies in the stream. Because of the circular motion in the water, the middle stays hollow and allows more foam to come up and freeze. Sometimes they are called foam volcanoes. I have often wondered if these could form around here. It is certainly cold enough and we have cows, but I was never sure our streams flowed fast enough.”

In essence, the theory attributes the combination of bitter cold weather and cow urine to what Annette and Bryan discovered. Nevertheless, the occurrence is truly rare and has gained notoriety in every direction. “There’s pretty much a four-lane highway.” Said Annette regarding the road next to the formations, flooding with extra traffic. If the theory is fact, whoever would have thought that cow urine could transform a river into a majestic winter wonderland?

Annette continues to post picture updates of the spikes on Facebook, and until warmer weather kicks in, it looks as though they are here to stay.

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