facebookpixel

It’s jarring to see nature make something with ruler-edged straight lines. Especially when those straight-lined things are massive icebergs hundreds and hundreds of yards long. Which is just what has happened in Antarctica, and NASA is all over the scene taking pictures and causing a social media sensation.

This iceberg, looking at least in part like a fallen monolith from 2001, calved from the Larsen C ice shelf. It’s called a tabular iceberg, a variety of icebergs that unsurprisingly have steep sides and flat tops, but aren’t typically so uniformly rectangular. This particular example was discovered on October 16, and the perfectly squared-off end means it was likely calved very recently.

NASA is monitoring the area as part of its Operation Icebridge program, a study of the polar regions and how they’re being affected by climate change. IceBridge senior scientist Jeremy Harbeck was the first to spot this frozen table top floating around Antarctica. “I thought it was pretty interesting,” said Harbeck in a NASA statement. “I often see icebergs with relatively straight edges, but I’ve not really seen one before with two corners at such right angles like this one had.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Photo: NASA


UNSOLICITED READER EMAIL:

“Just got my physical copy and I wanted to let you know how impressed I am with it.

“For some time now, I’ve been reading selected articles online and decided I enjoyed your content enough to actually pay for it.. but was not prepared for the quality of what you’ve sent me. Reading online did not fully convey the amazing photos and long articles that fill this thick and sturdy journal.

You have every right to be proud of your work, and I’m pleased beyond measure with what I’m getting for my money. Well done.”

Subscribe here!

Your first copy ships same day. $$ back if you don’t love it.