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Maine broke a world record — largest ice carousel

The ice carousel has a diameter of 1,776 feet — almost six football fields across

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This photo provided by Aroostook UAS shows volunteers creating a giant ice carousel on a frozen lake on March 29, 2023, in Madawaska, Maine.

This photo provided by Aroostook UAS shows volunteers creating a giant ice carousel on a frozen lake work on a path curt through the ice on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, on Long Lake in Madawaska, Maine.

Aroostook UAS via Associated Press

Frozen lakes are for ice skating, ice fishing, and — for those who are part of the Northern Maine Ice Busters — creating the world’s largest ice carousel.

The circle, created Saturday, measured 1,776 feet across and was estimated to weigh about 146,000 tons, The Associated Press said. The website compared the carousel to a Lazy Susan, turning slowly while people cheered.

Cutting through ice that was almost 30 inches thick, the Northern Maine Ice Busters had survey crews present to measure progress made, per CBS News.

According to NPR, to qualify for the world record, participants must spin the circle at least one full rotation. “The Ice Busters’ first attempts involved an old potato harvester motor, and they only managed to turn the disk three feet.”

Getting the disk to turn a full rotation was an effort that took close to 2 12 hours, NPR said. It required several outboard boat engines, vehicles and oversized propellers, per the AP.

The volunteers behind the act are “just a bunch of Northern Maine working-class citizens trying to beat cabin fever in the winter months,” according to the team’s Facebook page.

This photo provided by Aroostook UAS shows volunteers creating a giant ice carousel on a frozen lake. They are working on a path cut through the ice on Wednesday, March 29, on Long Lake in Madawaska, Maine.

This photo provided by Aroostook UAS shows volunteers creating a giant ice carousel on a frozen lake. They are working on a path cut through the ice on Wednesday, March 29, on Long Lake in Madawaska, Maine.

Aroostook UAS via Associated Press

World Ice Carousel Association

The World Ice Carousel Association’s purpose is to encourage and support those building ice carousels as a fun pastime in the winter. Its website is a place to find updates on ice mechanics, technology and challenges posted by the association.

Those interested in competing have a list of instructions for documentation, listed on the association’s website, including:

  • Measuring the diameter three times from different angles.
  • Recording the full rotation on video, regular speed or time-lapsed.
  • A photo of the entire ice carousel visible (pictured below).
This photo provided by Aroostook UAS shows a giant ice disk that measures 1,776 feet – or 541 meters– is seen on the day it was set in motion, creating the world’s largest ice carousel, on Saturday, April 1, 2023, in Long Lake in Madawaska, Maine.

This photo provided by Aroostook UAS shows a giant ice disk that measures 1,776 feet – or 541 meters– is seen on the day it was set in motion, creating the world’s largest ice carousel, on Saturday, April 1, 2023, in Long Lake in Madawaska, Maine.

Aroostook UAS via Associated Press

The competition is worldwide, with competitors living from Minnesota and Maine to Finland, where the first ice carousel was created using chainsaws.

Other records followed on the association’s website include:

  • The fastest ice carousel.
  • The first ice hockey game played on an ice carousel.
  • The thickest ice carousel.

Chuck Zwilling, a volunteer from Minnesota, was helping create the ice carousel and plans to beat the record by making an even bigger one. Concerning the need to find a lake large enough to host the carousel, he said, “It’s the land of 10,000 lakes in Minnesota, so we have many options,” per the AP.