The climate is getting warmer and the lake is thawing rapidly. The motion of the water under the ice is what's making the ice pile up and create a pattern.
There was a polar vortex that kept a lot of places in the country quite frosty, but the climate is getting warmer and the ice is slowly melting off. Lake Michigan, that was completely frozen during the winter, is slowly defrosting, and the ice that covered the lake has been broken into a million shards as the lake is thawing at a rapid pace, and it now looks like a winter wonderland, according to M Live. While the lake looks mesmerizing, and pictures of the surreal beauty are being shared all across social media, the ice has been stacked in a beautiful pattern because of the motion of the water underneath it.
56 percent of Lake Michigan was covered in ice as of March 8, this year. While it looks really beautiful to see the ice shards arranged in a pattern, the U.S. Coast Guard has warned those enjoying the beauty to stay off the ice. "No ice is safe ice especially this time of year," U.S. Coast Guard BMC Grant Heffner said March 20. "The ice is certainly deteriorating and breaking up."
Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. The great lakes are a series of interconnected freshwater lakes primarily in the upper mid-east region of North America, on the Canada United States border, which connects to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence River. They consist of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, although hydrologically, there are four lakes, Superior, Erie, Ontario, and Michigan-Huron. The connected lakes form the Great Lakes Waterway.
Lake Michigan is the third largest of the Great Lakes when it is measured by water surface and is the only Great Lake located entirely in the United States. Its name is derived from the Ojibwa Indian word mishigami, meaning large lake. The water of Lake Michigan has an unusual circular pattern and moves very slowly. The lake's average water depth is 279 feet (85 meters) and its maximum depth is 925 feet (282 meters).
Life on Lake Michigan is magnificent because, thanks to all the marshes, tallgrass prairies, savannas, forests and sand dunes that can reach several hundred feet, it all provides an excellent habitat for all kinds of wildlife. Trout, salmon, walleye, and smallmouth bass fisheries are common, while it is also home to crawfish, freshwater sponges and sea lamprey, a metallic violet species of eel. One can also find a lot of birds, like ducks, geese, and swans, as well as crows, robins and bald eagles. Predatory birds like hawks and vultures are also a common sight because of the options they have to feast upon.
The Petoskey stone, which is a fossilized coral, is unique to the northern Michigan shores of Lake Michigan and is the state stone. The name for the stone probably came from the fact that it was being sold at the area called Petoskey, and the name appears to have originated late in the 18th century. Its roots stem from an Ottawa Indian legend. Petosegay was an important person from the tribe, and the translation of the name is "rising sun," "rays of dawn," or "sunbeams of promise". The place was named after him.
Like the rest of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan also has its fair share of shipwrecks. One of the most famous maritime disasters was the sinking of the Westmoreland, a steamer that sank on Dec. 7, 1854. The wreck was discovered by a diver on July 7, 2010, 155 years after the accident, in excellent condition. Makes you think of the Titanic, doesn't it? There were so many ships that met with their fate on the lake that an underwater preserve was eventually created where divers can explore these sunken ships.
This preserve, known as the Straits of Mackinac Underwater Preserve, now contains 12 marked shipwrecks. The Sandusky, the Maitland and the Eber Ward are some of the shipwrecks that can be found in the lake. It is much safer to pass through the Straits of Mackinac, thanks to the use of advanced radar and icebreakers, which are basically ships that are designed to break through the ice so that other boats can pass through safely. Till date, nearly four dozen lighthouses stand along the beaches of Lake Michigan, acting as a reminder of the area's great shipping history.