Michigan Weird Science: The Menominee Crack

Birch Creek Michigan Crack in Forest

The Menominee Crack, photo courtesy Michigan Tech College of Engineering

Gizmodo reports that back in October of 2010 folks near Birch Creek in Menominee County heard a boom, felt the earth rock, and woke up to find a 360′ crack in the ground:

The first clue was the fact that the split happened at the top of a ridge. A pop-up isn’t a wrenching apart of some deep underground structure. It’s a large piece of ground suddenly pushing upwards, so that the ground above splits over it. The researchers discovered the pop-up by the sophisticated technique of slamming a sledgehammer against a metal ball sitting on the ground. The action caused sound waves to move through the rock beneath—and depending on the formation of the rock, the sound moves at different speeds. In this case, it moved in hugely different ways parallel to the crack, as compared to perpendicular to the crack. This indicated that there was a huge fracture in the limestone underneath the crack.

These sudden fractures occur due to extreme strain in the rock—strain that can be pent up for centuries. It’s more common around quarries, when removal of large pieces of rock can cause the rest to suddenly fracture and pop upwards. Other times, it can occur spontaneously. The Menominee Crack, as its now called, was probably the result of a spontaneous fracture—although the researchers speculate it might have happened due to the removal of a large tree from the area.

Read more at Gizmodo and check Michigan Tech for a detailed explanation of the Menominee Crack and Live Science for more photos. If you want to creep yourself out a little more, check out the probably related Wisconsin mystery booms!

Thanks Michigan Tech’s Engineering College for the photos and for all you do to help unravel the mysteries of Michigan!

If you like stuff like this, there’s plenty more Michigan weirdness on Michigan in Pictures!

February at the Eben Ice Caves

Eben Ice Cave Entry

Ice Cave Entry, photo by Eric Hackney

On the Pure Michigan blog, guest blogger Jesse Land of Things To Do in the U.P. details how to get to the Eben Ice Caves in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, writing in part:

Just outside of Marquette County, the Eben Ice Caves are one of Michigan’s prime winter attractions. Each winter, once the ice caves start to freeze up (usually sometime in December), visitor’s flock to the tiny town of Eben Junction to see the ice caves and, while they’re out there, support local businesses like the Eben Ice Caves concession stand, the Rock River Cafe and the New Moon Tavern.

The “Rock River Canyon Ice Caves” better known as the Eben Ice Caves, form when melting snow runs over the edge of a small cliff and freezes, forming “ice caves” Much like the large ice formations along Munising’s Grand Island and parts of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, if you were to visit here in the summer you would see little to no water running over the edge.

Sometimes I feel like Eric spends his time at all the cool Michigan places I never seem to make it to. View his photo bigger and see more in his 2-5-16: Eben Ice Caves II slideshow. Readers who are on the ball will wonder about #1 in the series – here’s 1-31-15: Eben Ice Caves that also includes pics of Munising Falls, MNA Memorial Falls and Tannery Falls!

Read more about the Eben Ice Caves in this Michigan in Pictures post featuring Nina of Black Coffee at Sunrise.

The Soul of the Yoop

The Soul of the Yoop

Soul of the Yoop, photo by Cory Genovese

While our Great Lakes shoreline still holds some cool formations this winter, unlike the last two years this winter hasn’t had the very cold days coupled with high winds that combine to form truly spectacular ice caves. Thankfully, we can look back … and hope for a wintry turn in the weather!

Cory took this photo of one of his favorite little Lake Superior ice caves in a spring thaw in April of 2014. View the photo bigger, see more in his Yoop Life slideshow, and definitely follow him on Facebook at PhotoYoop for more great shots of life on the edge in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula!

More ice caves on Michigan in Pictures, and please consider becoming a patron of Michigan in Pictures.

Baltimore River Ice Curtains

Ice Curtains on the Baltimore River

Baltimore River Ice Curtains, photo by Eric Hackney

Eric took this photo on the Baltimore River, just upriver from O Kun De Kun Falls. Although it takes place about 6 miles away in Munising, this is a good opportunity to remind you about the upcoming Michigan Ice Fest (Feb 10-14, 2016). Climbers & climbing enthusiasts from around the world converge to climb, socialize and learn about this winter sport. There’s plenty of fun for newbies too including guided climbs!

View his photo bigger, check out more in his Ontanogon County Adventures III slideshow, and follow Eric Hackney Photography on Facebook.

More about O Kun De Kun Falls on Michigan in Pictures.

January 20, 1985: The Michigan Moose Lift

Upper Peninsula of Michigan moose

Upper Peninsula of Michigan moose, photo by Greg Kretovic

Every so often, something I have featured on Michigan in Pictures will vanish from the internet, leaving whatever I shared as the only remaining source. Such is the case with one of my favorite modern Michigan stories, The Michigan Moose Lift of January 20, 1985. Click that link to read about this historic operation that relocated 59 moose from the Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario and led to the re-establishment of moose in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – somewhere north of 400 at last estimate*.

Here’s a very cool video from the DNR that does a great job of telling the story. Enjoy!

Greg took this photo of a large bull moose exploring the shoreline of an inland lake in Baraga County in October of 2012. View his photo bigger, see more in his slideshow, and definitely follow him at Michigan Nature Photos on Facebook.

* From the Detroit Free Press article on the latest biennial survey of Michigan’s moose population:

The latest biennial survey by the Department of Natural Resources produced an estimate of 323 moose in their primary Michigan range, which includes Baraga, Iron and Marquette counties. If correct, that would be a decline there of about 28 percent from 2013, when the estimate was 451.

Chad Stewart, a deer, elk and moose management specialist with the DNR, said the population could have held steady since the 2013 count but that the findings, including a decrease in the number of calves spotted with adult females, suggest a decline is the likelier scenario.

It is “quite possible that we’re looking at a considerable drop in numbers,” Stewart said Monday.

A smaller moose herd wanders the eastern U.P. Biologists have long estimated their number at around 100.

Winter at Bond Falls

Winter at Bond Falls

Winter at Bond Falls, photo by Aime Lucas Photography

The Bond Falls entry at GoWaterfalling.com says:

Bond Falls is in the western U.P. on Bond Falls Rd, east of Pauding MI. This is the most impressive waterfall in Michigan with the possible exception of Tahquamenon Falls. The main drop is 40 feet high and 100+ feet wide. Above the main falls are a series of cascades and rapids that must drop a total of 20 feet.

The water level is controlled by a dam, and a steady flow over the falls is maintained for scenic reasons. Of course during the spring melt the flow is much higher.

Bond Fall is a Michigan State Scenic Site. The site was renovated around 2003. The old parking area was upstream of the falls, and a steep concrete stairway led to the base of the falls. The new parking area is near the base of the falls, and a level boardwalk leads you to prime views of the falls.

Read on for more including directions to the falls.

Aime writes: The majestic Bond Falls. Normally a short, easy walk but in the winter a very hazardous one. The steep steps were covered with a few layers of ice and the path was extremely slippery. It was totally worth it.

View her photo bigger, follow her on Facebook, and purchase prints and see more work on her website!

Many more Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures.

Winter Solstice: Ten seconds at Tahquamenon edition

winter-solstice-at-tahquamenon-falls

winter solstice, upper tahquamenon falls, michigan, photo by twurdemann

I wrote that the actual moment of the solstice was 11:48 PM last night, but it’s actually TONIGHT!  Anyway, here’s a simply gorgeous photo from the 2013 winter solstice at Tahquamenon Falls to kick off the shortest day of the year. I hope you can fit everything in and get a great start to your week!

View twurdemann’s incredible ten-second exposure bigger and see more including some more shots of the dramatically different scene at the Falls in 2013 in his winter slideshow.

Lots more Tahquamenon Falls and more about the winter solstice on Michigan in Pictures!