These massive snow boulders, estimated to be about 75 pounds, have washed ashore off the coast in northern Michigan.
The stunning snowballs were spotted by a woman who was walking her dog at the Sleeping Bear Dunes national park.
‘I thought it was the coolest thing ever especially since I’ve never seen anything like it,’ said Leda Olmstead. ‘I have a small English bulldog and they were as tall as her. They were pretty massive.’
Olmstead said the snow boulders lined the coast for about a 100-foot stretch and there appeared to be hundreds of them.
She was walking her two dogs, Zola and Bula, when she happened upon them.
Olmstead quickly pulled out her camera and took these amazing photographs that were picked up by local media.
‘People think it’s so boring and gross up here in the winter but I think it’s beautiful,’ Olmstead said of northern Michigan.
While the snow boulders seem like freak occurrences, or from another planet, weather experts provided a straight-forward explanation for how they came to be.
Sleeping Bear Park Ranger Amie Lipscomb told Michigan Live that the ice boulders begin to form – much like a pebble from actual boulders – when hunks of ice break off from the sheets that float in nearby Lake Michigan.
Then, after waves beat down on the pieces of ice, they become rounded and smoothed and are then washed ashore in seemingly perfect boulders.
There have been high-winds in the area of late which contribute to the boulders.
‘Along the shoreline, lots of different ice formations form because of the waves crashing along the beach,’ Lipscomb said.
Olmsted told The Weather Channel, ‘Most of the people who’ve lived here their whole live said they’ve never seen anything like it either.
‘So it’s really cool.’[embedplusvideo height=”373″ width=”615″ standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/hoTj-1ObOZY?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=hoTj-1ObOZY&width=615&height=373&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep2478″ /]