NASA spotted a block of ice in Antarctica — and it is so unusually formed that you just might be amazed that it is not man-made.
NASA’s cryosphere research wing, which focuses on the earth’s iciest areas, shared the phenomenon on Twitter on Wednesday. In the picture, a rectangle of ice juts out with seemingly perfect smoothness and straight edges.
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“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 account tweeted. “The iceberg’s sharp angles and flat surface indicate that it probably recently calved from the ice shelf.”
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Tabular icebergs like this one have sharp side surfaces and level top surfaces, according to Forbes. They are formed “a bit like a fingernail growing too long and cracking off at the end,” scientist Kelly Brunt told the New York Post.
“The takeaway message is that ice shelves release large icebergs from time to time. They do this naturally,” Christopher Shuman, a research scientist, told The Washington Post.
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“IceBridge is the largest airborne survey of Earth’s polar ice ever flown,” NASA explains on its website. “It will yield an unprecedented three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice. These flights will provide a yearly, multi-instrument look at the behavior of the rapidly changing features of the Greenland and Antarctic ice.”
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