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Woods, water & worse/Jim Junttila

Rogue icebergs roam Lake Superior

March 5, 2010
The Daily Mining Gazette

A massive iceberg the size of Manitou Island and seven stories tall collided with the tippa the Keweenaw Glacier, breaking off a number of large icebergs that have now become an organized pack roaming Lake Superior, clogging river mouths, and threatening coastal villages, towns and shipping routes from the Soo to Duluth.

The monstrous head iceberg seems to have a mind of its own and an innate sense of direction, and leads the renegade free-floating archipelago of icebergs as if guided by some sorta sophisticated navigational aids.

Iceologists theorize that the head berg is being steered and maneuvered by a GPS hook-up with Polaris, the North Star, that controls, directs and tracks their movement by secret satellite or some such.

The ever-growing number of rogue icebergs, some towering hundreds of feet above the lake, already 602 feet above sea level, and plunging to untold fathoms beneath the surface, seem intent on wreaking havoc wherever they go.

"It's just the tippa the iceberg," said Al Niemi, whom many blame for the unusually mild wimpter we're having.

The event has fueled conjecture and speculation from scientific and religious observers alike.

Seismologists suspect the vicious high magnitude earthquakes that recently ravaged Haiti, Chile and Taiwan, could be at least indirectly involved in the jarring, glacier-fracturing collision that broke off the icebergs under the cover of darkness.

Local fundamentalists believe their God did it to punish local sinners like He did cleaning up the filth that was New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina, and with His recent quakes in Haiti, Chile and Taiwan.

The more orthodox of the bunch thought it was God's reaction to the USA Olympic men's hockey team losing the gold medal in overtime to those heathen Canadians.

Seismologists, geologists and theologists all agree that earthquakes are caused by shifting tectonic plates, not God punishing his own creatures, and wonder how anybody could hold such apocalyptic beliefs in this day and age.

"Rumours of an underwater earthquake rocking Thunder Bay, Ontario, on the northern shore, and triggering a tsunami headed straight for the Keweenaw Peninsula turned oot to be totally unfounded," said WW&W Canadian correspondent Sue Sainte-Marie.

Other seismologists theorize a mini-quake mighta took place deep in the woods of the Keweenaw with nobody around for miles and no infrastructure to destroy.

"It was so small the Great Lakes Tsunami Center never saw it coming," said Sue Naami, Michigan Tectonics seismologist.

As the geology-theology controversy continues, the icebergs raise hell up and down the lake with impunity, leaving a wake of destruction wherever they go. They have blocked off Ontonagon Harbor and the Breakwaters entrance to the Keweenaw Waterway on the northshore, indicating Marquette is next.

"If they think they can just float on in here and pillage our village, they've got another think coming," a Copper Harbor resident stated defiantly. "We brought in our finest hard-shooting Calumet Wolverines hockey players, lined 'em up and fired hundreds of blazing head-hunter slapshots at the icebergs, but they just bounced right off. There's about 500 pucks on the bottom of the lake now."

"Then we let 'em have it with a few thousand rounds of deer rifle fire, but that barely fazed 'em, too. Just when we thought we were done for, somebody got the bright idea of building a buncha bonfires on the beach and sure enough, they backed off. They don't like global warming, but they know fire and ice don't mix."

"We've had quakes before and we'll have 'em again," Sue Naami continued, "the earth is continually shaken by mini-earthquakes, many too small-potatoes for detection or much damage. The snow was so deep nobody even noticed, although Traprock Valley potato farmers reported their spuds 'popped right up outa the ground and were lying on toppa the snow.'"

A series of wimpy aftershocks reportedly spilled a few beers at the Mariner and Zik's, and as far inland as the White House.

"That's about the seis of it," she punned.

Whether additional earthquakes and rogue icebergs continue to break off the Keweenaw Glacier is the work of a frustrated fundamentalist deity or just plain old-fashioned tectonic plate shifting depends on what you believe.

Jim admits that this one comes close, but his quest to write a totally fact-free column continues. He can be reached 24/7/365 at



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