Mysterious 'perfectly rectangular' iceberg spotted floating in Antarctica

Mysterious 'perfectly rectangular' iceberg spotted floating in Antarctica

Well here's something you don't see everyday: an iceberg so unbelievably geometric in shape you'd think it was deliberately carved with a enormous chainsaw.

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

The image was captured during a flight for Operation IceBridge, the largest airborne survey of Earth's polar ice.

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

A huge, flat iceberg with flawless, right angles was spotted on October 16 by NASA's Operation IceBridge floating among sea ice just off the Larsen C ice shelf.

"This one came from the crumbling Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula". The iceberg represents one trillion tons of ice.

"How the berg is formed is speculative given the collisions are not known in much detail, nor is the physical state of the iceberg - many rifts are visible in satellite imagery, many are not yet visible but are forming as the berg responds to its journey", says Shuman.

The picture was taken last week by scientists on a Nasa research plane.

Others simply posted photos of other majestic tabular icebergs.

Speaking to LiveScience, University of Maryland Earth scientist Kelly Brunt compared calving events to a long fingernail that eventually snaps off at the end; the process often results in seemingly ideal geometric edges.

"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.

"They split from the edges of ice shelves - large blocks of ice, connected to land but floating in the water surrounding iced-over places like Antarctica".

"We get two types of icebergs". And the portion above the surface is likely just 10 percent of the total iceberg, Petty says.



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