Mesmerizing ‘ice balls’ have appeared on a beach in Finland

Nov 17, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

File under: “Well, this is weird.”

Ice balls the size of hen eggs and footballs have appeared on Hailuoto, an island off the coast of Finland. And according to Lonely Planet, they’re covering a pretty substantial section of the beach. If you didn’t know any better, you might even believe they’re fake. See for yourself:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sirpa Tero (@sirpatero) on

Experts said this phenomenon is triggered by a few incredibly specific conditions, Lonely Planet reported. First, “A thin ice sheet must be blown onto a relatively gently sloping shore during particularly cold temperatures.” From there, the wind and waves will roll these fragments of the sheet ice into these smooth ice balls. The movement just needs to be continual and moderate, and the size of the ice balls is dictated by how long these weather conditions continue.

Risto Mattila, an amateur photographer from nearby Oulu, told the BBC, “I was with my wife at Marjaniemi beach. The weather was sunny, about [30 degrees Fahrenheit] and it was quite a windy day. There we found this amazing phenomenon. There was snow and ice eggs along the beach near the water line.”

Never, in a quarter century of living in the area, had Mattila seen such a sight.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

While this is a rare occurrence, it’s not completely unheard of. The BBC also noted that a similar phenomenon has appeared before in Russia and even Lake Michigan, near Chicago.

You’ll have to brave the cold this time of year, but Finland is a beautiful country — ice balls or no ice balls — that you’ll be sure to fall in love with. In fact, Helsinki might even be the perfect destination for families. The country’s flag carrier, Finnair, is part of the Oneworld alliance and, as of August 2018, you can use your Alaska Airlines miles to book a flight on Finnair.

Feature photo by Jani Riekkinen / EyeEm /Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.