NASA spots mysterious near-perfect rectangle iceberg in Antarctic

NASA spots mysterious near-perfect rectangle iceberg in Antarctic

Members of the Operation IceBridge, NASA's decade-long airborne survey of polar ice, spotted two rectangular icebergs during a flight over the northern Antarctic Peninsula on October 16, 2018. But alien conspiracy fans will be disappointed to learn that it's a naturally occurring phenomenon.

We tend to think of icebergs as jagged and pointy, with the bulk beneath the surface, and with a penchant for ruining DiCaprio romances. This large slab of ice with nearly vertical sides and a flat top, and they are often formed after breaking off from ice shelves.

According to NASA Ice scientists, the sharp angles and flat surface of the iceberg discovered on the trip indicate that it was likely recently calved from the ice shelf.

The angular berg is called a tabular iceberg.

Its precisely cut corners show that it hasn't been around that long, because the sharp edges would become round from exposure to wind and waves.

NASA did not say how large the iceberg was.

As you can see in the above tweet, the space agency described the block as a "tabular iceberg" which seems to have recently broken off the Larsen C ice shelf.


Eric Rignot, a research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and a professor at UC Irvine, agrees that Larsen C's massive size created the rectangular shape.

Nasa ICE on Twitter also posted a really cool GIF of the rectangular icebergs.

Sometimes, these tabular icebergs are very big in size, measuring hundreds of miles in length and hundreds of feet in height.

Tabular icebergs form when they split off from ice shelves, and sometimes the cracks that divide them from their parent ice form in geometric patterns, including straight lines.

The Larsen C ice shelf is being closely monitored by scientists after showing signs of breaking up.

Scientists have repeatedly warned that the world's sea ice is in danger of completely disappearing as the effects of climate change continue to be felt.

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