So you may think all icebergs look like the monster that sank the Titanic. Not so. There currently is a huge chunk of ice floating in the Antarctic that is quite different, and it is called a tabular iceberg.
This unusually large block of ice has split off from the edge of an ice shelf. It is very symmetrical, in that it is wide, flat, and long, somewhat resembling a sheet cake. It’s geometric precision has caused a great deal of interest and speculation. But rather than aliens having put it there, or secret activities underground accounting for its appearance, it is simply another one of nature’s fascinating behaviors on planet Earth.
Although it is difficult to gauge from photographs, Antarctica’s current tabular iceberg is probably more than a mile across. As typical of all icebergs, what is visible accounts for approximately 10% of its total mass. The rest of it is submerged underwater, and will appear much as the top, visible part.
What can be seen floating in a sea of ice, is believed to have recently calved from the Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula, which is itself in the process of crumbling apart. As spectacular as the iceberg’s size is, scientists believe it would probably crack up under the weight of just a person attempting to walk on it. The best advice is to observe it from a distance, and continue enjoying the ever changing ice scape of mysterious Antarctica.