Every winter, Debbie Center and her family gets the feeling that they're living on a movie set for "Star Wars." The sounds of intergalactic sci-fi battles constantly fill the wintery air around their home in Nevis, Minnesota.
Center lives on a small lake near Lake Belle Taine, and every winter when her lake freezes over, "Star Wars" battles emerge as the shifting ice expands and contracts.
Center told GrindTV that the lake has been sounding off daily ever since it froze on November 11. She recorded the sounds in a video she shot on Saturday:
"I’m just awestruck every time I hear these amazing sounds, and I feel like I’m living on a set for 'Star Wars,'" Center told Caters News.
"Sometimes the lake sings so loudly that it wakes me up at night.
"It’s much more common when the ice is first forming, or when it’s thawing in the spring.
"The ice needs to be fairly free of snow, as the snow will block a lot of the sound."
Earlier this year, The Verge delved a little further into the making of these noises, that is common on frozen lakes everywhere:
A frozen lake that looks like it's been stopped in time, but in fact keeps shifting and moaning, sounds like a Star Wars blaster...
The phenomenon has been observed in many parts of the world...The amazing sci-fi sound occurs usually when there are fluctuations in temperature, which cause the ice to expand and contract.
This ice shifting causes all kinds of sound frequencies, high and low. The vibrations move through the ice, but the high frequencies move faster than the low frequencies and reach your ears first, explains NPR’s Skunk Bear. That time lag makes the lake sound like a cracking whip.
To hear the sound, you have to be at the right distance, so that the high frequencies have enough time to overrun the low frequencies. The same happens with metals, too. And in fact, NPR says, those iconic Star Wars blaster sounds were produced by making use of the same frozen lake acoustics: the movie's sound engineers just hit the long wires of radio antennas with a wrench. The sound is similar to the one I heard by the frozen lake in Sweden.
"Aren't they amazing?" Center told GrindTV. "They completely freak out our daughter, but I can't get enough of them."
Read about other winter oddities on GrindTV