Holy ice balls! Video captures rare sight along Michigan lake

The rare phenomena is only spotted a handful of times around the world each year.

HONOR, Mich. – Michiganders, who braved air temperatures in the teens, saw quite the sight Sunday as thousands of ice balls and frozen ‘volcanoes’ covered the shore of Lake Michigan near the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. 

Nearby resident Hal Sorstokke captured the rare phenomenon on video.

"There were thousands of them," Sorstokke said about the ice balls. "The big ones were in the 36-inch range." 

That’s roughly the size of an exercise ball.

It’s not the first time the 60-year-old resident said he has spotted the features but believes the most recent batch were among some of the largest.

The rare phenomenon is only spotted about a handful of times around the world each year.

Canadians along Lake Manitoba were treated to a similar sight in November.

Mikke Boguth, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Gaylord, previously said to see the configurations, there needed to be some sort of slush ice in the water and waves that acted like a roller.

Sorstokke also captured video of miniature, icy ‘volcanoes’ along the banks of the massive lake.

Instead of lava shooting into the air, waves from Lake Michigan helped push water through the ‘volcano’ shafts, which are composed of nothing but ice.

Their appearance usually gives spectators the show of a lava-like spewing rock formation but with ice and cold water taking the place of the normally 2,000° molten rock.

Despite the sometimes brutally cold weather, Sorstokke said he is always up for the adventure of trying to capture Mother Nature’s creativity.

"Some people don’t like to get out in the cold, but there’s a Norwegian saying, ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes,’" Sorstokke said.

The recent social media attraction to Sorstokke’s find is similar to an event that happened in Michigan two years ago.

Back in 2020, Holland State Park officials also captured photos of the slush balls along the lake.