NASA spots mysterious near-perfect rectangle iceberg in Antarctic

Perfectly cubic pyrite crystals on marlstone. Image credits Carles Millan

Perfectly cubic pyrite crystals on marlstone. Image credits Carles Millan

UMBC JCET Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Christopher Shuman, who has been watching the Larsen C Ice Shelf explained that the main iceberg (which was the size of about the size of the state of DE when it split from the shelf in July) has had a previous series of collisions, resulting in larger and smaller fragments.

NASA scientists from Operation IceBridge believe the iceberg - believed to be a mile wide - may have recently broken off the Larsen C ice shelf.

The iceberg's unique geometric shape sparked considerable debate on social media that it was formed by - you guessed it - space aliens.

The discovery was made as part of Operation IceBridge, the largest ever aerial survey of the planet's ice around Greenland and in Antartica.

Scientists took the snap from a plane used to monitor changing land and sea ice in the South Pole.

A NASA spokesman said: "It will yield an unprecedented three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice".

It even has a name: A tabular iceberg, a type of iceberg both broad and flat.

Based on its relatively smooth edges and pristine condition, this berg likely only calved very recently, according to NASA.

Brunt observed that the square-like iceberg appeared new at the time because its edges still looked sharp-signs that wind and water had not done their jobs of eroding the iceberg's surface.

Known as a tabular berg, the massive block of ice is thought to measure one kilometre long.

"We get two types of icebergs".

"What makes this one a bit unusual is that it looks nearly like a square". "And then you have what are called "tabular icebergs", she said.

'This clockwise drift of ocean waters and sea ice flowing north past the Larsen shelf, which can be seen in the animation as a flow from right to left, has rotated A68 out into the Weddell Sea.

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