Giant rotating ice disk in river draws gawkers

The ice formation is floating in the Presumpscot River

Drone footage of the weird formation shows it in all its moon-like glory, and video shared by delighted locals proves the disk also works as a makeshift raft for ducks and other birds.

Scientists say the formation of ice discs is rare but natural, but the surreal appearance of the disk has led to speculation of alien intervention.

The City of Westbrook, Maine, is inviting fans of odd natural phenomena to come check out a massive ice disc rotating in the Presumpscot River - and perhaps you could patronize some local restaurants while you're at it.

The massive, frozen sheet can be seen churning down the middle of Presumpscot River, which cuts through Westbrook, an old mill city west of Portland, Maine.

It may look like the surface of the moon, but the phenomenon captured in the video above is a little closer to Earth.

"It kind of looks like a crop circle", Doug Bertlesman, the web developer, told the Press Herald.

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Rob Mitchell, who owns a nearby office building, spotted the alien-looking disk Monday morning and immediately notified the city.

An vast icy disk doing a solitary pirouette on the Presumpscot River is dazzling observers, local and distant, alike.

The frozen water can be seen slowly rotating like a giant turntable. The slower currents caused that portion of the river to freeze over, and the clockwise motion caused ice to form in a disk shape.

"The ducks were rotating on this big lazy Susan", Mr Mitchell said.

They occur at bends in the river where the accelerating water creates a force called "rotational shear", which breaks off a chunk of ice and twists it around.