Rare rectangular icebergs spotted by Nasa in Antarctica are for real

Stock image  Pixabay

Stock image Pixabay

Usually, when we think of icebergs, we don't imagine flawless geometric shapes.

These are flat and long and form by splitting away from the edges of ice shelves.

NASA's Operation IceBridge discovered a mysterious monolith-shaped iceberg, sparking a wild internet debate over its origin. Sitting amid a chaotic jumble of floating ice, it looks perfectly rectangular, as though it was deliberately cut. "And then you have what are called "tabular icebergs"," she said.

An iceberg recently spotted by NASA scientists looks like it was carefully cut into a flawless rectangle, and it's getting a lot of attention because of those unexpected angles and straight lines. They can take more geometrically pleasing shapes than their more rugged, non-tabular counterparts.

But this is the first year that the scientists will also survey Antarctica using the new Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2.

Last year, a giant iceberg the size of DE - named A-68 - broke off from Larsen C, fuelling concerns it could be on the brink of collapse.

Senior research scientist Ted Scambos with the University of Colorado at Boulder says the iceberg is in the ballpark of 40 metres tall and anywhere from a mile or two long. Typically, only 10 percent of an iceberg is visible above the water.

The folks at NASA captured an incredible image of a near-perfect rectangular iceberg floating off the Antarctic Peninsula. As it calved, the iceberg may have been smooth and flat underneath, but ocean currents would have quickly changed it.

The calving of the huge iceberg reduced the size of the ice shelf by 12%.

Figuring out exactly how climate change affects Antarctic ice, though, remains challenging, according to Bartholomaus.

It looks nothing like the craggy, uneven mass that sunk the Titanic, perhaps the most famous iceberg ever.

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