Bizarre Swirls Atop Alabama Creek Perplex Community, Meteorologists

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Mysterious patterns atop a frozen Alabama creek have area residents baffled, and of course, have resulted in the old alien conversation.

Or as The (Macon, Ga.) Telegraph explained, the odd-shaped swirls of snow have “challenged meteorologists and rattled social media, with some likening the formations to alien-created crop circles.”

Anderson Creek, a 200-yard-wide tributary of the Tennessee River near Rogersville, Ala., is where the patterns are most visible.

Needless to say, all of this has generated quite a buzz on social media, as local television stations picked up on the story and inspired comments under posts ranging from allegations of the swirls being man-made to strong suggestions that aliens are involved.

Several Macon-area meteorologists attempted to explain the odd formations, including Kate McKenna of WAAY-TV 31.

“What I think is the best explanation for this — and I say ‘think’ because I’ve been asking other meteorologist friends what their theory is on this,” McKenna reported.

“I believe that near the shoreline the water is a little more shallow so it’s freezing more easily. It’s able to cool down quickly. And then the wind blows that thin sheet of ice out into the water, out into the middle the creek. And then the water near the shoreline again starts to refreeze and the wind blowing that ice out into the lake causes each layer here, each ring to form, kind of like rings in a tree trunk.”

That could be it. Either that, or there are a bunch of aliens obsessed with this particular creek who are at home laughing. Both theories seem to make good sense.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side,


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