National News

Mysterious structure sprouts from the Maple River

Posted January 2, 2018 11:07 a.m. EST

— A mysterious structure sprouting from the Maple River has drivers craning their necks.

Three days ago, Olley Eberhardt and his neighbors near Leonard noticed something peeking out of the river.

If that isn't strange enough for you, he said it's growing by the day, and is the biggest one in the world.

Like a fish story, without pictures, Eberhardt's claims sound like a tall tale.

"Freaky- I ain't seen nothing like that in my whole life," said Eberhardt. "There was one that was seven foot one inch."

Eberhardt believes it is the tallest Ice Spike in North Dakota history.

"I'll never see one that tall again I bet. That is just unreal how tall it is," said Eberhardt.

An ice spike occurs when a river bubbles, and freezes over and over.

"There's a pinhole air bubbles come up and keep freezing and breaking and building up," said Eberhardt.

Eberhardt said this Maple River monster wouldn't be possible were it not for the incredible cold.

"Where the ice spikes came it's never froze over. It could be ten, fifteen below and it never freezes," said Eberhardt. "This is the first I've ever seen."

But until now, it hasn't been measured.

Tape measure in hand, Eberhardt said it stacks up to just under 15 feet based on where it is related to the road.

He's had neighbors come from all over to sneak a peek at the mammoth spike.

"Everyone from 15 miles around," said Eberhardt.

Eberhardt knows his pillars won't last forever.

Ice spikes are often knocked over by wind and melt easily, but he's content enjoying it while it lasts.

We couldn't find any proof of a larger one, meaning the Maple River spike could be a record.

Eberhardt says it's grown by as much as a few feet a day.