Bizarre circular shapes spotted by a research plane in the Arctic’s Beaufort Sea are puzzling NASA scientists.
The aerial survey – part of ongoing research trips that started about 10 years ago – was conducted by scientist John Sonntag, the lead researcher on NASA’s Operation IceBridge project, charting sea ice levels on both poles of the Earth.
“We saw these sorta-circular features only for a few minutes today,” Sonntag wrote as he discovered the circles in real time. “I don’t recall seeing this sort of thing elsewhere.”
Sonntag and others are at a loss for what the holes might be, but they have a few ideas. One guess is that the ice is “young” and newly formed over water.