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Rare natural snowballs cover Siberian beach

By Ben Hooper
Naturally formed snowballs cover a beach in a Russian village inside the Arctic Circle. Screenshot: Weather Channel
Naturally formed snowballs cover a beach in a Russian village inside the Arctic Circle. Screenshot: Weather Channel

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NYDA, Russia, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Residents of a Siberian town documented their encounter with a rare phenomenon -- hundreds of naturally formed snowballs covering a beach.

The snowballs, ranging from about the size of a tennis ball to nearly 3 feet across, were created by wind and water rolling tiny pieces of ice into balls in the Gulf of Ob, in the Arctic Circle village of Nyda.

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Residents said they have never seen anything like the snowballs in the gulf.

"As a rule, first there is a primary natural phenomenon -- sludge ice, slob ice. Then comes a combination of the effects of the wind, the lay of the coastline, and the temperature and wind conditions," said Sergei Lisenkov, press secretary of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. "It can be such an original combination that it results in the formation of balls like these."

A similar sighting was caught on camera in December of 2015 in Maine's Sebago Lake.

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