Rare blue ice stacks ” as high as a three-story building form along Michigan’s Great Lakes

Photographer Tori Burley captures a beautiful photo of the blue ice forms under the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan.

( Burley)

In the middle of her work shift on Sunday morning, Tori Burley received a text message from her father gave her a tingle of excitement: “The blue ice is back!”

It was seven years ago Burley, a photographer who grew up in Mackinaw City, Michigan, spotted the blue ice pieces along the Straits of Mackinac, the waterway that flows under the Mackinac Bridge, connecting two Great Lakes – Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

“I was at work and I was like, ‘I need this day to be done now,'” Burley told Fox News. “The second I could leave, I grabbed the kids and I walked to the lake to take photos.”

Burley had enough of the company of photographers and the local population.

Dozens of people lined up along the coast to take pictures of crawling and in the vicinity of the large blocks of ice, some towering more than 30 meters high. A combination of wind and current pushed the pieces to the coast, where they are stacked on top of each other to build “mountains” of ice.

Dustin Dilworth captures a photo of the giant blue ice pieces to form the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan.


Dustin Dilworth, of Gaylord, Michigan, located about an hour south of the Mackinac Bridge, traveled to Mackinaw City on Monday to witness the rare phenomenon.

“In the Straits of Mackinac, these ice piles as high as a three-storey building,” Dilworth told Fox News.

Photos never really do it justice,” Burley added, as she described the beauty of the “light sea glass blue color that reflected on the ice when the sun hits it just right.

“They can’t capture the glow, or the size of it,” she said.

Tori Burley, of Mackinaw City, Michigan, spotted the blue ice pieces along the Straits of Mackinac on Sunday.

( Burley)

Blue ice occurs when snow buries and compresses a glacier, squeezing out air bubbles and allowing the light to pass on to the water. “The longer the path light travels in ice, the more blue, the National Park Service explained in a post online.

“The ice appears so blue because it is compressed so tightly that all the air is ‘squeezed’ out of the ice, allowing the passage of the light, absorbing the red end of the spectrum),” Dilworth described. “This only shows the blue tint to reach our eyes.”

The sight was so breathtaking, Burley went back around sunrise of the following day to capture more photos, although the ice is a little melted.

“This time of the year, it melts right away,” Burley cautioned. “So that’s the other challenge. It might come out, but you can just to see the wash and back with the wind.”

A bald eagle fights off a raven as perches near the top of a mountain of blue ice in Mackinaw City, Michigan.


Dilworth, who is also a photographer, ” he said in the sight of the blue ice on a “cloudless morning” when a bald eagle flew overhead.

“The nature was active…as much as the photographers,” he said.

“There seems to be nothing to compare,” Burley added. “When you are standing next to this ice cream that is bigger than you are – it completely changes your perspective.”

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