Mackinaw City “blue ice” is attracting attention
South of Sault Ste. Marie, in the upper peninsula of Michigan, there's a pretty interesting natural attraction these days.
“Blue ice” is piling up on shore and it's drawing attention from a lot of people.
Amateur photographers are flocking to Mackinaw City to take pictures of the blue ice that has washed to shore in the small community.
"It's an awesome sight. One I hope the camera can capture." said one photographer.
"It’s kinda unbelievable. You need a little perspective. Up close, it’s much bigger than I saw in pictures." said another.
Some days you can see the ice better than others. With the cloud cover on Wednesday, the blue wasn't as vibrant as it is on other days.
So, what creates the blue ice?
"It’s very calm waters, so when it freezes, when it’s so thick, it only allows the blue light waves to go all the way through it. So, it blocks out the red and everything else, so you get the nice turquoise blue." said Enzo Lieghio of the Mackinaw City Tourism Board.
While the blue ice is very popular with tourists, locals who live on the water are worried about how close the massive ice blocks are getting to their properties.
"That's 3.5 feet from their deck post and if that slid farther, it would have hit the support post for the family room, so we get very concerned about it." said local resident Rob Most.
Because of the buildup, Mackinaw City has become a must-see destination. Tourism officials say people are coming from outside the state to take pictures with the blue ice.
"Mackinaw City is obviously a number-one destination for tourists in Michigan, but when we get this, it helps us out in the winter time, because people want to come see this and it’s not a normal occurrence.” said Lieghio.
Locals say this amount of blue ice hasn't washed up to shore for at least five years.