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EXPLAINED: Strange Symmetrical Zigzag Patterns Appear in Iceland

Mar 22, 2017 06:31 AM EDT

A strange zigzag pattern that appeared few days ago in Iceland's Lake Thingvallavatn has gotten the scientists attention.

Thingvellir National Park released photos of the patterns of Facebook.

"For the past couple of weeks a thin ice has been on big parts of the lake. Today someone noted a strange looking pattern in the ice cover which is still unexplained and locals have not seen before," the post read.

According to the National Park, Lake Thingvallavatn, Iceland's biggest lake, has always had solid ice cover. However, due to global warming and the continuous rise in temperature, the ice cover had not been forming as solid as it had for the last 15 years, making it somewhat unstable.

AOL described the eerie pattern similar to a scene taken straight from the X-Files. Since the appearance of the "perfect" geometrical pattern, locals, including scientists have been baffled. The pattern stretches for two kilometers, somewhere 40 kilometers northeast of Reykjavik.

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Speculations started and there was no shortage of alternative explanations from alien activity and unknown monsters in the lake to strange conspiracy theories," Park official Einar AE Saemundsen told the media.

"Scientific explanations came from experts that recognized this as a very rare phenomenon called finger rafting," he added. "But it is not known to have ever been seen before at Lake Thingvallavatn."

IFL Science, in an explanation, said finger rafting might be new to Lake Thingvallavatn, but it has been documented fairly heavily in the sea ice of the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

It is called finger rafting, as it is similar to interlocking pattern of human fingers. It reportedly occurs when thin segments of ice collide and one tends to go under and over each other, alternately. What is strange about this phenomenon is that the process tends to form symmetric patterns. Scientists have been trying to figure out for centuries why such patterns were formed perfectly.

Meanwhile, Express noted that Thingvellir means "Parliament Plains" in Icelandic language. It was given such name as it was the site of the first general assembly, one of the oldest parliaments in the world, it was established in 930, later moving to Reykjavik in 1798. Today, the lake is considered as one of the most revered tourist spots in Iceland.

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