A vacationer in Antarctica captured some images of a gorgeous iceberg recently. The photographer, Alex Cornell, was on a guided tour of arctic waters when he snapped images of a flipped iceberg.
Cornell says the flipped iceberg didn’t really stand out from the rest when viewed from a distance.
“Everything I was seeing was pretty exciting,” Cornell admits. “This particular iceberg at the time kind of blended in with all the crazy stuff we were seeing.”
But as their boat approached the emerald-colored structure, he started to realize he was seeing something special. Instead of an opaque, snow-capped iceberg, this one was translucent with an almost diamond-like appearance.
Here, courtesy of Cornell, are a few photos of the phenomenon:
Beautiful, right? As stunning as they are, flipped icebergs are bad news. According to Justin Burton, a professor at Emory University who has extensively studied the physics of flipped icebergs, the flip is typically caused by glacial melting. Most flipped icebergs used to be part of solid ice rivers, Burton told Smithsonian Magazine. Due to rising temperatures these ice rivers are melting and cleaving into smaller, individual icebergs. The melting changes the equilibrium within the iceberg and, voila, it flips.
Photo Credit: Alex Cornell, Wikimedia Commons