Rather than the endless open expanse of ice and snow that they are used to seeing, the team observed what appears to be large holes in the icy crust, along with wavy ice patterns that have no easy scientific explanation. They don’t know what the features are or how they formed because they’ve never seen anything like it before, and now they’re doing their best to figure out why the strange patterns exist.
“We saw these sorta-circular features only for a few minutes today,” John Sonntag, a scientist with the mission, wrote of the sighting. “I don’t recall seeing this sort of thing elsewhere.”
Thus far, the researchers have been able to come up with a reasonable theory about the area that may explain some of the features they observed. They believe that the area is covered in relatively new, “young” ice, and that it is probably thin enough that it is still flexible. That would account for the wavy pattern on part of the ice, but the obvious holes are harder to explain.
“It’s definitely an area of thin ice, as you can see finger rafting near the holes and the color is gray enough to indicate little snow cover,” scientist Nathan Kurtz said following the mission. “I’m not sure what kind of dynamics could lead to the semi-circle shaped features surrounding the holes. I have never seen anything like that before.” – READ MORE[give_form id=”79809″] [contentcards url=”http://bgr.com/2018/04/23/nasa-arctic-ice-holes-pattern-unexplained/” target=”_blank”]