YouTube user pseudon name shares a video he stumbled upon at Facebook. Two bros in Utah discovered a strange ice formation upon a frozen lake, recording it for posterity. The formation appears to be at least six feet / 182cm in width, and riddled with regularly-spaced holes arranged like a mandala. From the video, the holes are about the length of an average person’s index finger.
Upon closer inspection these holes contain white crystals, described by one of the dudes as being “slimy”. A nearby Starbucks coffee cup led our intrepid bros to conclude the cause might’ve been hot coffee, possibly supported by the yellow-brown ‘corona’ around the center circle. Nobody seems to know the exact location of the video, and the exact Facebook page hosting the original remains elusive. Based on the Starbucks cup’s design, the footage isn’t from 2015 since it’s not the controversial, plain red one.
What is it? Someone might’ve gotten pretty lucky tossing their coffee on the ice, creating this curiosity. Even if the cup was a grande, there wouldn’t be enough coffee to create all those crystals. Commenters suggest this is a lion’s mane jellyfish, typically found in high northern latitudes. But this is Utah, a landlocked state more than 700 miles / 1100km from the nearest ocean. Those unusual crystals might be indicative of antifreeze proteins from another cold-loving critter. The pattern might illustrate how the protein diffuses through the surface, altering the crystallization of the ice.
Then again, it might be aliens… or viral marketing for the upcoming sequel Independence Day: Resurgence.