Mother Nature with a chainsaw? Perfectly rectangular iceberg dazzles online

Stock image  Pixabay

A freakish iceberg has been spotted by NASA scientists - in the shape of a near-perfect rectangle.

However, according to NASA, there's a simpler scientific reason why the iceberg appears to be a ideal rectangle.

NASA scientists captured the image on an IceBridge flight, an airborne survey of polar ice.

'The iceberg's sharp angles and flat surface indicate that it probably recently calved from the ice shelf'.

They're usually formed when breaking off from ice shelves; in this case, it likely came from the deteriorating Larsen C-the same shelf that saw a 2,200 square-mile, trillion-ton iceberg break away a year ago.

"The best thing I can say is that when a "trillion tonne" iceberg runs into an ice-covered rocky island (Bawden Ice Rise) the crystalline glacier ice will fracture along planes of weakness, much like a more typical mineral crystal might be cleaved".

He's a research scientist with NASA's Operation IceBridge, the group that took the stunning photo, and is based at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

She compared the process to a fingernail growing too long and cracking off.

These are flat and long and form by splitting away from the edges of ice shelves. 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 insane subsurface. They're often rectangular and geometric as a result, she added. "And then you have what are called 'tabular icebergs'".

"What makes this one a bit unusual is that it looks nearly like a square", Brunt said, noting that it's a pretty fresh break.

As with all icebergs, the part visible above the surface is just the top 10 percent of its mass.

The rectangular mile-wide block of ice was seen off the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula near to the Larsen C ice shelf.



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