This rectangular iceberg in Antarctica is near flawless

This rectangular iceberg in Antarctica is near flawless

"[Icebergs] look like these handsome pristine white things from a distance, but if you look a little closer, they're really mangled and full of cracks", she says.

The picture was snapped on October 16 by scientists working with Operation IceBridge - a NASA mission that monitors the ways polar regions are responding to climate change.

But in fact, there is little that is particularly unusual about the iceberg photographed floating near the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica, as sea ice specialist Alek Petty explains.

According to NASA Ice scientists, the sharp angles and flat surface of the iceberg discovered on the trip indicate that it was likely recently calved from the ice shelf. Tabular icebergs form when they split off from ice shelves, and sometimes the cracks that divide them from their parent ice form in geometric patterns, including straight lines.

The study uses research aircraft to capture three-dimensional images and monitor annual changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets, with the aim of better understanding connections between polar regions and the global climate system.

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Nasa has released a striking photo of a rectangular iceberg floating in the Weddell Sea off Antarctica. "And then you have what are called 'tabular icebergs'". This berg hasn't been measured yet, but Brunt says it's about one mile across, which isn't not particularly large.

As with regular icebergs, just 10 percent of its mass is visible in the picture, though the subsurface mass is would look similar to what's visible above.

But, he added that "the presence of icebergs like these are a sign of increased calving".

Kelly Brunt, an ice scientist with NASA and the University of Maryland, said such icebergs are fairly common. The chunk of ice has since been known as iceberg A-68.

In any case, users stressed that the iceberg certainly looked interesting, with several suggesting it reminded them of a scene out of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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