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Idaho Is Visited by Extremely Rare Snow Doughnuts

These bizarre cylinders self-form in just the right snow and wind conditions.
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Dan and Dennis Robbins/NWS

A hill populated with rotund doughnuts made of snow, with no human footprint in sight—that’s the bizarre spectacle Dan and Dennis Robbins stumbled across after a recent winter storm in Idaho.

These loopy formations are called snow rollers and they’re extremely rare, says the National Weather Service. The snow must be loose and wet, the temperature just right, and the wind gusty enough to get them started … but not too gusty lest they disintegrate. They can form on fields or hills; the ones pictured here near Fairfield, about 60 miles north of Twin Falls, appear to be the slope-dwelling variety.