Iceberg shaped like a colossal sheet cake drifts through Antarctic

Pablo Tucker
October 23, 2018

The mysterious slab-like iceberg, up to a mile wide, was spotted near the Larsen C ice shelf, and the sharp angles hint that it broke off very recently.

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.

The icy rectangle was likely formed by a process that's fairly common along the edges of icebergs, explained Nasa ice scientist Kelly Brunt, of the University of Maryland.

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


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

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

NASA tweeted a photographed of a long, flat, rectangular iceberg last week, breaking up the popular (but false) notion that icebergs are always spiked mountains of frost rising formidably out of the ocean.

"Sea ice conditions have kept majority near Bawden Ice Rise". Once they split from an ice shelf, they are often geometric in shape.


Explaining how the iceberg formed, she said: "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 insane subsurface".

Like all icebergs, Brunt said only 10 percent of this particular tabular berg was visible above the waterline, with the majority of it submerged.

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

"What makes this one a bit unusual is that it looks nearly like a square", Brunt said.


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