A Strange Rectangular Iceberg Spotted By NASA In Antartica

On October 2018, a strange gigantic 'monolith' iceberg has been spotted by NASA scientists flying over Antarctica. The cake-shaped iceberg was photographed on October 16 by NASA’s IceBridge program, which routinely flies planes over the poles to take photos and study how these remote locations are changing. In the past, these flights have mapped Greenland’s ice sheets, identified collapsing ice shelves, and spotted mysterious holes in the Antarctic ice.

The rectangular berg was spotted off the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, near the Larsen C ice shelf. In this case, the IceBridge planes spotted the strangely-shaped iceberg floating near the Larsen-C ice shelf, and scientists suspect that the ‘berg recently broke off from there. Larsen-C made the news in July of last year when a giant iceberg the size of Long Island separated from the shelf. The iceberg that formed a week before is smaller but still pretty large: it measures around a mile across.

NASA experts believe it may have recently broken off the shelf, and say the sharp angles and flat surfaces are evidence the break occured very recently.

The strange, angular berg is known as a tabular iceberg.

'A tabular iceberg can be seen on the right, floating among sea ice just off of the Larsen C ice shelf,' the space agency said.

'The iceberg's sharp angles and flat surface indicate that it probably recently calved from the ice shelf.'

The image was taken during an IceBridge flight—an airborne survey of the planet's polar ice that gives a 3D view of the ice that makes up the Arctic and Antarctic, providing vital information on how it changes over time. 

NASA scientist Kelly Brunt said 'tabular icebergs are rather like fingernails that crack of, giving them sharp edges.

'What makes this one a bit unusual is that it looks almost like a square,' she said.

She estimated its size to be about a mile wide.

It’s also likely that this iceberg isn’t the perfect cube it appears to be in the photograph. Most of the iceberg is underwater, of course, and even the bits that are visible aren’t all inside the frame. Still, this just shows that nature is able to create strange and unexpected things even with something as simple as frozen water.


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