image1237Lake Michigan Waves Create Giant Ice Balls

Visitors to the shores of Lake Michigan were greeted by an interesting sight this week, as waves lapped against hundreds of massive ice balls.

The balls, or boulders, as some have called them, are formed when water from the lake begins to freeze and is pushed ashore by wave action, according to Meteorologist Jim Andrews.

As the waves lap the shore, the ice is tumbled, smoothed and frozen into a round shape.

“It’s possible that the ice is accreting like a snowball or like a hailstone, and that they keep growing,” Andrews said.

While the process does require specific conditions, it’s definitely not an abnormal event, he said.


Seattle Seahawks football fans ’caused minor earthquake’

A celebration by football fans in Seattle grew so loud on Monday evening it registered as a minor earthquake, a research group has said.

Raucous fans jumped up and down during an early first-quarter touchdown in the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints.

The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network detected the vibrations, measuring between a magnitude 1 and 2 earthquake.

The Seahawks won the game at CenturyLink Field 34-7.

Pacific Northwest Seismic Network director John Vidale told CNN his staff recorded five separate seismic events during the game.

It was not the first time fan celebrations shook Seattle. In 2011, the response to another US football touchdown registered at nearby seismic recording stations.

CenturyLink Field, which is open to the air, also set a Guinness World Record for noise in September.


Drone camera films Serengeti vistas and wildlife close-up

A British wildlife photographer is capturing stunning aerial shots of Africa – using a homemade helicopter drone

Will Burrard-Lucas, 30, spent five months building and learning to fly the ‘BeetleCopter’ before taking it out for a spin in the Serengeti in Tanzania.

He is able to capture sweeping scenes of migrating wildebeest and antelope as well as more intimate shots of giraffe, hippo and lions.

He said: “These things are much smaller and quieter than a full-blown helicopter so you can get really close to the wildlife without spooking them.

“There is quite a lot of excitement about the possibilities, as I have really only scratched the surface.”

Mr. Burrard-Lucas started building and testing the BeetleCopter in August 2013. The remote-controlled device is powered by six mini-rotors and capable of flying for about 15 minutes at a time.

He is able to control it from more than a kilometer away using a remote screen and virtual-reality goggles “like a computer game.”

He now owns a fleet of eight BeetleCopters, capable of carrying everything from a GoPro to a full-sized DSLR camera, and is building further models for fellow wildlife photographers and videographers.


Thousands of alligators moved to new home in China

Workers at an alligator conservation park in Anhui, China had the task of moving 8,000 Chinese alligators to warmer quarters last month.

Conservationists were concerned the endangered alligators would not survive the cold winter in their outdoor pools, so they transferred every single reptile to indoor pools by hand.

The Chinese Alligator Conservation Area of Anhui is making plans to build new pools to house the alligators.

“The current pools are old and lack facilities,” said one member of staff. “They are also too small to keep all the alligators.”

From London’s Daily Telegraph and BBC News and AccuWeather.