The Great Lakes create some incredible natural phenomena each winter. Perhaps nothing is more amazing than the ice balls that occasionally float to the shore.

These ice balls were captured in Lake Michigan off of South Pier in St Joseph by area photographer Joshua Nowicki who takes photos of the Southwest Michigan area specializing in the always photogenic pier in St Joe, which was featured on a Vernor's can in 2018.

Ice balls, or ice boulders

form when cold chunks break from ice sheets, and the movements of a lake’s waves sculpt those pieces into rounder shapes. The balls can also accrue more layers of ice, growing large.

On occasion, these rotund ice balls reach lake shores, where they form what can look like very cold ball pits or surprising collections of shining white boulders.

Take a look at ice balls from past winters when Atlas Obscura covered the weather phenomenon.

See more of Josh Nowicki's work on his Facebook page and Smugmug profile.