Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Striped Icebergs in Lake Michigan?

Ha ha! Since I installed a sitemeter, I can find out where my blog readers are coming from, and lately, a surprising number are coming from googling "Striped icebergs Lake Michigan." This is because of a hoax e-mail going around claiming that the icebergs pictured above have been found In Lake Michigan.

A quick look at Snopes reveals that the icebergs are real, but they are NOT, I repeat, NOT in Lake Michigan. It doesn't get cold enough, folks. Yes, we have "icebergs" but not that size or that white. We here at LakeMichiblog love ice on the lake, and we'll be sure to report seeing anything this size as soon as it appears!

February 3, 2011 update: Welcome googlers! Apparently the hoax e-mail is being recirculated this year as I have been getting 100 or so hits every day on this post. Remember, when in doubt about any e-mail you receive, always run it through Snopes.com. And since you are here, why not look around at the rest of the pretty pictures of Lake Michigan? Thanks for stopping by!

February 21, 2011 update: I found an interesting explanation of how icebergs are formed. It makes it very clear this could not happen in any Great Lake. Enjoy!

34 comments:

Sandy White said...

So many people have sent me these photos. Today I finally took time to check 'em out and found your blog. As someone who lives on the Lake Huron shore, I can attest that although our water is blue, nothing like these formations ever occurs at the water's edge. With the rare exceptions of a sudden ice breakup after the lake has been frozen over, the shoreline ice buildup always appears mixed with sand, although new-fallen snow can dress it up.

Random Thinker said...

Guilty - a friend sent me these pics because I live in Michigan. Of course I googled it and quickly discovered that these are not on Lake Michigan.

Anonymous said...

Those pictures are from Antartica.

Anonymous said...

It's Antarctica.

Anonymous said...

"When an iceberg falls into the lake, a layer of water can freeze to the underside"

The ear-splitting roar of an iceberg breaking up as it tumbles down a sand dune near St Joseph?

Anita said...

That pisses me off. I just looked like an idiot when my father in law from Michigan came over and I showed him those pictures. He told me he never heard of anything like that before...and so I looked it up and found it wasn't true...Why would someone post those pictures saying their from Lake Michigan? What are they gaining from saying that?? Dumb-asses!

Anonymous said...

Very funny, actually. From my perspective: I live in Finland, and I've stayed in Michigan for about a year in the late 70s. It was a true winter over there, a lot of snow.. and people had snow mobiles (I've never driven one in Finland). But, ice bergs, no way... the winter is way too short, and the summer is hot, often above 30 and sometimes over 35 C. The pictures were impressive, though.
DerAlte

Queen Judy said...

always snope your fantastical emails! While ice does make some amazing formations in green bay wisc. I am pretty sure Lake Michigan doesn't have icebergs the size of the ones in anartica

Anonymous said...

Anita -- don't believe everything people send you on the internet. But even though the bergs are Antartic and not from Lake Michigan, they're still amazing!

Tom Yura said...

It is ironic that when the validity and the accuracy of the scienctists that the left have hired to push their agenda is being questioned, the media will immediately dismiss the study as "right wing propaganda". When innacurate data is pesented from the opposite point of view, it is immediately proven to be invalid by accurate studies and the results of the bad data are widely published. Very interesting...

David B said...

These pictures have been circulating in my university for a while. My common sense told me its just not possible, not cold enough. People are way too gullible sometimes.

Lois Cox said...

On the first picture you can see a fine blue line as if some of these pics were photo shopped. My dad was from Michigan and he saw a lot of snow but not like this. Yes it would take awhile for this size of iceberg to grow,especially for all of the layers to accumulate. Just got this one from a dear friend.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your daily pictures. They let me see the lake I love and can seldom get to see myself, especially in winter. Thanks for posting.

Cragbetty said...

the photos are cool...but they are most likely from the antarctic....i've chased those icebergs before...

http://ontheiceandbeyond.blogspot.com/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cragbetty/collections/72157605968580821/

Margrethe said...

I am an American living in Norway, and a friend just sent me these photos from California. I found an explanation of the pix on Snopes, and when I found your site and saw the Lake Michigan map I was struck by how similarly shaped Norway and Lake Michigan are!

There is NO WAY that Lake Michigan made these bergs, no! and not even here in Norway could you find such ice...but a Norwegian IS said to have taken the pictures! Sailor Øyvind Tangen took these while he was aboard a research ship 1,700 miles south of Cape Town, 660 miles north of the Antarctic, and the striped icebergs reminded him of humbug candy he bought as a child.
From Snopes.com: http://www.snopes.com/photos/natural/stripedicebergs.asp

You have a beautiful site, tusen takk!
Margrethe

bortking@aol.com said...

Pretty obviously a hoaxie. I had oopy the site address to send to a friend that had sent it to me. But if not for the hoax pics how would I have found this cool LM site about my favorite GL? Makes me want to winter in Greenland, though.
I think it's not "global warming" you have to worry about, it's global cooling. There used to be a mile of ice right where I am now (and there will be again). Amazing.
Thanks for th cool blog.
Love,
The Bort King.

lakelover said...

Thanks to all the commenters, I'm glad this helped and that you are enjoying the rest of the photos. Please note that my post only deals with the question of whether the icebergs are in Lake Michigan or not (they're not). I DID NOT SEND THE ORIGINAL E-MAIL. In some versions of that e-mail there is commentary about climate, in some there is not. There are more appropriate forums for discussing climate issues. Here, we look at pretty pictures of the Lake. Thanks for stopping in!

Anonymous said...

My sister-in-law in Switzerland, a former Chicagoan, e-mailed me the photos of the striped icebergs, and sure enough I googled 'Lake Michigan icebergs' and discovered this nice blog! I e-mailed her the link, so this blog will be all the rage in Geneva. I live about 40 minutes from the lake in Chicago's Northwest 'burbs. I see plenty of ice floes, but no icebergs!

Man Bear Pig said...

I went first to Snopes.com and I got the "Sorry, there are no matches" statement. My mother-in-law sent them to me. She's a life-long Democrat, so I am not surprised by her gullibility.

Anonymous said...

The pictures are fabulous, but only a dimwit would think they could form in a lake. You Americans - always want to claim credit for amazing stuff made elsewhere.....

Anonymous said...

I live in Chicago and if this was true we would have saw it on the news and it has been cold but nothing out of the norm and it certainly cannot form icebergs pretty pics though

Anonymous said...

I'm a little surprised that some have used the icebergs to criticize liberals/Democrats. I got the email from my conservative father who got it from his very conservative brother in law. Both bought it completely. Gullibility spans the political spectrum.

Anonymous said...

I got the message from a cousin in Australia...far closer to the source than Lake Michigan! I thought, "Gee, I spent ten freezing winters in Chicago but never say anything like THAT!" and immediately Googled for stiped icebergs on Lake Michigan...then to trusty old Snopes...also found this blog.

You'd think they'd at least say it was Alaska!

Jessica said...

So...was pretty sure the e-mail I got about the icebergs was just silly, but I googled anyway - glad I found the blog. I'm a Texas native, and I've never been to Lake Michigan (although there's a bridge I want to cross there one day - it's on my bucket list). I'll be back to see the amazing pictures. What a happy mistake made by my gullible friend...lol.

Anonymous said...

only the women of Michigan are that cold. Pipsqueks

Anonymous said...

Well.. my sister in MI sent me copies of these photos. I grew up there, but don't remember seeing anything like them.
However, I do remember seeing Niagara Falls frozen in mid-air during the winter... it happens all the time, and I have seen this with my own eyes. The weather at Niagara Falls area is pretty much the same as at the Great Lakes....
so, while Lake Michigan may not typically display these "bergs" (probably because of the Lake effect winds preventing such a buildup), still it is not totally unthinkable... who knows whether it could happen or not?

lakelover said...

Commenter #26 (above): If you click through the link about how icebergs are formed, you will see that they are chunks of ice broken off from a glacier. Glaciers indeed covered the area that now includes the Great Lakes during the last Ice Age (melting ice is what filled them), but unless NEW glaciers form and then break off chunks, it is impossible to have true icebergs in any Great Lake.

As to the freezing of Niagara Falls, I guess you saw what you saw, but Snopes once again comes to the rescue and explains how Niagara Falls cannot freeze in midair (there are over 10,500,000 gallons of water going over the falls in one minute; the physics of that make it impossible), and has only stopped flowing completely once (at least since there have been human witnesses who recorded it) in 1848. That was due to the ice that formed UPSTREAM from the Falls and stopped the flow of water. See here: http://www.snopes.com/photos/natural/niagarafalls.asp

ktmichbama said...

Although the pictures in the e-mail in question are not from Lake Michigan, I have to say that the winter of 1979 there were icebergs in Lake Michigan near the Duck Lake Channel. My friends and I climbed them. We climbed about half a mile out on these things to the water line and it was about two storeys from the top where we were to the water.

lakelover said...

ktmichbama: I suspect the "icebergs" you are talking about were like these: http://lakemichiblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/you-want-icebergs-in-lake-michigan.html
These are basically piles of snow on or near the shore. Sometimes waves coat them with ice, sometimes they might even float in the water for a while, but as they are not giant chunks of floating ice broken off from a glacier (see link on How Icebergs Are Formed, above) they are not icebergs. We might be inclined to call them that, but that's not what they are. Unless a new Ice Age dawns and glaciers form and break off chunks that float in one of the lakes, there will never be real icebergs in Lake Michigan.

Anonymous said...

HAHA!!! I live in Chicago and I KNEW these couldn't be from Lake Michigan. I was trying to find out where they were from though, which is what brought me to you site. Cool pics though. !!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful blog. I am a middle school science teacher in Michigan. I also received the email from a friend and show my students the pictures. Some fall for it, but others recognize right away that it just doesn't seem reasonable...especially the "water freezing as soon as it hits the air" part. It makes for a great lesson in reliable sources on the internet!

Magnus Tangen said...

I was the fist to publish some of those pictures. Yes, they are from Antarctic. And it was my father (Øyvind Tangen) and another scientist (Leif Nøttestad) who took the pictures during a survey on a Norwegian research vessel. See:
http://afishblog.com/?p=48 and other posts about icebergs on my blog.

lakelover said...

Wow, Mr. Tangen, what an honor! Thank you for stopping in to look at the blog. I hope lots of people will see this and visit your original picture site.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in Michigan for 50 years and Never I Repeat Never seen an or heard of any Icebergs in None of the great lakes. People need to quit putting false information on the internet. Some child will put stuff like this in their school work. SMH