Dr. Seuss-like spires whipped into formation by icy winds along the shore in Lake Michigan have caught the eye of nature photographers—and fed the fancy of fans on social media.
The nearly-annual phenomenon is similar to the one that creates 50-foot tall spires called hoodoos in the Utah desert, but these temporary ice hoodoos are anywhere from 3 to 20 inches high.
And, they may last only a day before the temperature and winds change, rendering them back to grains of sand.
Resembling chess pieces or modern art, they are carved when the wet sand turns into ice in spots, and strong winds remove the loose sand, layer by layer, in only a few hours.
Amateur photographer Shaun Tvetmarken lives in Saint Joseph, Michigan, where the bizarre sandy spires were created in Tiscornia Park.
He braved the cold to shoot some frames to post on Facebook and Instagram.
Gusts along the lake shore topped 40 mph on Friday morning, January 8, and as the temperatures rose above freezing the fragile pieces crumbled.
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The phenomenon isn’t unique to this Southwestern corner of Lake Michigan. They can form, for instance, along the Northwest Pacific Coast or in Northern Europe.
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