NASA captures image of freakish, perfectly rectangular iceberg

NASA captures image of freakish, perfectly rectangular iceberg

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

According to the National Snow & Ice Data Center, ice shelves are permanent floating sheets of ice that connect to a land mass. This iceberg looks pretty fresh, she said.

The image was taken during an IceBridge flight which is a survey from the air of the planet's polar ice that gives a 3D view of the ice providing information on how it changes over time.

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

Tabular icebergs are wide and flat due to the way they form: because they calve from floating ice shelves, there's no friction with the ocean floor to hinder breakage, The Washington Post reports.

"This one came from the crumbling Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula".

Most people think of icebergs as jagged, frozen mountains with only a fraction of their bulk sitting above the surface of the water, but it turns out that there's actually two kinds of icebergs: tabular and non-tabular.

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NASA photographed the odd object in Antarctica last week as part of Operation IceBridge.

Ice scientist Kelly Brunt explained to Live Science that tabular icebergs are fairly common.

Satellite images showing the 2008 Wilkin's Ice Shelf collapse. At that point, tides or strong winds could break icebergs off.

But why such straight lines? Not all of them are rectangular-some have jagged borders like a puzzle piece, but most of their sides are sheer and smooth (at least at first). "It's relatively new and not rounded off by melting or anything like that - a new piece of glass breaking is sharp".

Usually, when we think of icebergs, we don't imagine flawless geometric shapes.

"The scale of icebergs is often hard to convey", said Medley.

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