The Sounds of This Undulating Pancake Ice on Lake Huron is Otherworldly, Calming and Eerie
In early January 2021 a video surfaced on Facebook sharing the otherworldly sounds of pancake ice on Lake Huron close to the Michigan shoreline at Port Austin.
The sound of the small rounds of ice undulating against each other is both eerie and fully relaxing in its charm.
Port Austin is at the very tip of Michigan's thumb, about 120 miles north of downtown Detroit. The outcropping peninsula on the east side of the state that gives the state a mitten shape marks the beginnings of Saginaw Bay.
The video was shared to the Nature Through Michigan's Eyes Facebook group and left many members transfixed.
It almost feels like it's breathing. Very cool!
That was not the sound I was expecting! Very interesting.
I always think this sounds like winds chimes.
Pancake Ice, according to Wikipedia,
features elevated rims formed by piling the frazil ice/slush/etc. up the edges of pancakes when they collide, both due to random bumping into each other and because of periodic compressions at wave troughs. These rims are the first indication of the onset of the formation of the pancake ice from less consolidated forms of ice
The ice generally only forms on large bodies of water like seas and oceans, which proves that our Great Lakes are truly inland seas.
Take a listen for yourself.