NASA Discover Mysterious Looking Iceberg In Antarctica
The huge monolithic iceberg is reported to be 5,800 square kilometers floating just off the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula.
From yesterday's #IceBridge flight: A tabular iceberg can be seen on the right, floating among sea ice just off of the Larsen C ice shelf. The iceberg's sharp angles and flat surface indicate that it probably recently calved from the ice shelf. pic.twitter.com/XhgTrf642Z
- NASA ICE (@NASA_ICE) October 17, 2018
This is near the Larsen C ice shelf, where NASA believes the iceberg has recently broken off from - evidence of a recent break comes from the fact the iceberg has sharp edges.
NASA posted their findings on their Twitter, NASA_ICE, the said: "From yesterday's #IceBridge flight: A tabular iceberg can be seen on the right, floating among sea ice just off the Larsen C ice shelf. The iceberg's sharp angles and flat surface indicate that it probably recently calved from the ice shelf."
The block of ice is suspiciously perfect for something that's fallen off an ice shelf, but in an interview with LiveScience an ice scientist with NASA and at the University of Maryland, Kelly Brunt, said the berg was formed from a process that's 'fairly common'.
She said: "So, here's the deal, we get two types of icebergs: We get the type that everyone can envision in their head that sank the Titanic, and they look like prisms or triangles at the surface and you know they have a crazy subsurface. And then you have what are called 'tabular icebergs'."
Brunt added that even the scientists thought the find was unusual as it's 'almost like a square'. She went on to advise people not to walk on the sheet as though 'it probably wouldn't flip over' its exact mass is unknown and probably hidden in the water and it may crack and break - making it dangerous.
New photos released by IceBridge scientists also reveal that the iceberg isn't actually a perfect rectangle, but a very angular quadrilateral.
The photos were taken by IceBridge senior support scientist Jeremy Harbeck.
"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."
He added: "I was actually more interested in capturing the A68 iceberg that we were about to fly over, but I thought this rectangular iceberg was visually interesting and fairly photogenic, so on a lark, I just took a couple photos."
From Friday's #IceBridge flight: An iceberg surrounded by water and sea ice floes in the Weddell Sea. The submerged portion of the iceberg is partially visible (in bright blue). pic.twitter.com/ZQMjUGf6h2
- NASA ICE (@NASA_ICE) October 22, 2018
NASA has kept a close watch on the Larsen C ice shelf after a massive iceberg broke free from it and began to spin.
Experts have said if all of the Larsen C was to break free it could add another 4 inches (10 cm) to global sea levels over the years - however the breakage may not be down to climate change.
The find was part of NASA's Operation IceBridge - a series of aircraft missions that survey how the Earth's polar regions have changed in the recent years. It does this by taking images and looking into the ice and monitoring the thickness, location and accumulation.
Featured Image Credit: NASA_ICE/Twitter