These fluffy discs might look like pancakes, but don’t get the syrup out just yet. A flotilla of mysterious pancake-like discs was recently spotted drifting down the River Dee in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. However instead of being made of flour and milk, they’re actually made from frozen ice and foam.

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River Dee Trust biologist Jamie Urquhart discovered the pieces of pancake ice floating along the river. The discs are occasionally found in Antarctica or the Baltic Sea, but they’re a highly unusual sight in Scotland. River Dee Trust officers believe that pieces of frozen foam were caught in an eddy, where they swirled around until they formed a disc. “Perhaps each disc grew when smaller pieces of unfrozen foam struck the disk, adhered and then froze in place,” Dee Catchment Outreach Officer Joanna Dick said.

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Cold temperatures in Aberdeenshire likely account for the formation of the pancakes. Throughout December, temperatures have been below freezing and have averaged around one degree Fahrenheit. “They are a rare occurance,” Dick said, “and conditions have to be right for them to form.”

+ River Dee Trust

Via Accuweather and BBC News

Photos by River Dee Trust