Scientists recently found a piece of ice that looks to be an almost-perfect rectangle.
Nature has a tendency to create fascinating scenes. Whether it be the autumn leaves falling or the wonder of the Grand Canyon.
This time around, what's fascinating people is an iceberg, one that is almost perfectly in the form of a rectangle. NASA ( National Aeronautics and Space Administration) actually posted a photo of it on Twitter with a caption that called it a tabular iceberg.
Tabular icebergs are formed when they break off from ice shelves. This particular iceberg is likely to have recently broken off the Larsen C ice shelf as it has sharp edges and a fairly flat surface.
From yesterday's #IceBridge flight: A tabular iceberg can be seen on the right, floating among sea ice just off of the Larsen C ice shelf. The iceberg's sharp angles and flat surface indicate that it probably recently calved from the ice shelf. pic.twitter.com/XhgTrf642Z— NASA ICE (@NASA_ICE) October 17, 2018
This iceberg, in particular, seems small, but it could be larger than we expect, especially if we take into account the common knowledge that icebergs are larger beneath the surface. Now, it has been estimated by Ted Scambos, who's a senior research scientist with the University of Colorado, that the size of this could be 130 feet tall and around a mall or two long. According to National Geographic, it will likely change due to due to ocean currents.
NASA found it during one of their Ice Bridge flights, which is an operation being run to photograph Earth's polar ice. The question as to why this is even being done is quite simple. NASA essentially wants to better understand how the Polar regions connect with the global climate system.
It's not uncommon and is fairly normal for ice shelves like Larsen C to break apart during their lifetime. However, it's not known what directly causes the shelves to break apart, it's been said that it could be the fact that the temperature has risen around half a degree per decade since the 1940s in that region. The reason may very well also be the reality that many ice shelves have cracks in them, thus causing the weaker parts to break off and fall into the sea.
Whatever the reason, it's still pretty cool to see something so symmetrical in nature.