The ice of Utah Lake was hiding something.

This bizarre event took place in the winter of 2013, and as of this writing, nearly four years later, there’s no definitive proof about what exactly caused the unexplained phenomenon. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

The mystery began when two young men went walking on the thick ice of the frozen Utah Lake, about 20 miles south of Salt Lake City. While walking on ice might sound dangerous, it’s quite common in that part of the world. Locals know when the ice is thick enough to bear their weight, and ice fishers spend days and days pulling trout and perch out of the frigid water.

The young men were Jason Nilson and a friend, who media reports haven’t yet identified. They crisscrossed the frozen surface of the lake, not looking for anything in particular. 

They spotted an odd formation in the ice a few yards away. They cautiously approached. The closer they looked, the more unsettled they became. The ice was blurred and distorted within a large, perfect circle. Isolated pellets punctuated the concentric rings of slowly melting ice within the circle.

Nilson took out his phone and began to film the event. This had to be documented.

One of the young men approached the mass. He poked at one of the pellets. It was slimy. These young men had never seen anything like this before, but one of them came up with a theory on the spot.

“You don’t just see s*** like this, man,” he said. “Maybe it’s aliens. Maybe it’s alien eggs.”

Each of the pellets was melting the ice it touched, perforating the surface of the lake in an almost spiral-like pattern. This certainly doesn’t look like any natural phenomenon that we’ve ever seen. Nilson and his companion searched the area for clues. All they found was an old abandoned paper coffee cup.

Later, looking for answers in the hive-mind of the internet, Nilson posted the video clip he took on YouTube. Users chimed in with their theories on what caused this bizarre phenomenon. Some of them thought the coffee cup could be a relevant clue.

“Starbucks coffee cup, dropped, splattered all over the place, ice reacted to it differently than its surrounding and a mathematical (golden spiral) shape emerged,” theorized one YouTube user. “The white stuff is the latte.”

Others weren’t so sure.

One top comment explains away the event as the work of ice fishers.

This phenomena is caused by water softener pellets that someone used on the lake to melt through the ice, much in the same way road salt would work,” a YouTube user wrote. “Someone put it down to eat thru the ice so they could do some ice fishing which also explains the reason for the circular shape.”

A Utah Valley new station called KSL claims to have solved the mystery.

Claire Lewis, a former student in professor Svrckova Larsen’s art class at Brigham Young University, says that she’s behind the whole thing.

Lewis made tiny “eggs” out of flour, salt, and water, and pressed them into the ice to create a circular pattern. Her assignment was to create a public art installation, and she chose the surface of Utah Lake as her canvas.

“The point of the project was to make people think, which it did, so I guess that’s all I really wanted,” Lewis told KSL News in 2016. Plus, she got an A on the assignment.

Or is it all just an elaborate government cover-up?