Crop circles in a pond? That's the first impression one might have thought upon seeing the mysterious impressions that formed in the cold water in Eden, N.Y.
Local resident Peggy Gervase was standing on the deck of her home Friday evening when she first noticed a series of perfectly circular holes in a nearby pond behind her house.
"I took a couple pictures of the pond and I put it on Facebook because I'd never seen this before in our pond," Gervase told Buffalo NBC TV affiliate WGRZ. "It's eerie, in a way, and cool in a way. It's crop circles, crop, pond, water, ice circles -- just circles."
Crop circles are widely known as patterns of circular formations that have appeared in the fields of many countries. Explanations ranging from man-made to natural phenomena to alleged extraterrestrials all purport to reveal what created the circles.
Commenters on WGRZ's Facebook page offered several theories for the icy circles in Eden, including meteorites, methane gas and, not surprisingly, alien visitors.
"Circles are an interesting phenomenon because you get quite frequently the opposite effect in slow currents in a river, say, at a bend where the water slows down on the outside of the bend," said Marc Dantonio, photo and video analyst for the Mutual UFO Network.
"The opposite effect I am referring to are 'ice circles,' and you can get perfect round circles of ice spinning oddly separately from the rest of the ice in the body of water as if a laser cut a small groove in a perfect circle all the way around to separate it from the rest of the ice," Dantonio told The Huffington Post.
But why would these ice circles have anything to do with actual circular holes in the ice?
"Slower moving water is more resistant to freezing than completely still water," suggested Dantonio. "Given the right conditions, where freezing has just begun, my personal feeling is that these ice holes are really areas where some underground springs that have been creating small currents in the pond have moved the water just enough to prevent it from freezing at the same time as the rest of the pond."