Photo Journal: Three Places To Still See Icebergs

Candice Gaukel Andrews July 30, 2015 5
Inside an iceberg “cave,” you may discover shimmering turquoise ice crystals. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Inside an iceberg “cave,” you’ll find a shimmering world of turquoise crystals. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Icebergs, those floating carvings that rival any great artist’s sculptures, are enthralling. Because they move, tip, constantly change and evolve, they seem to be living, “breathing” creations. They become even more precious when you realize that the shapes you see in them today could be totally different tomorrow. Not many masterpieces can claim that.

The other reason that I find icebergs so mesmerizing is that I believe they all might eventually disappear. Our planet is warming so fast that I sometimes wonder if far into the future there will be any cold places left. Glaciers, icebergs—winter itself, even—may become things we have to explain to our grandchildren, who will never be able to experience them in person.

American novelist Ernest Hemingway—famous for his short-sentence writing style—once compared his writing to an iceberg. Just as most of an iceberg remains largely unseen beneath the surface of the water, he believed that a writer should leave parts of a story unwritten. If the writer is writing truly enough, he felt that a reader would get a feeling for those left-out things as strongly as if the writer had stated them. “The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water,” he wrote.

Below, I’ve gathered together some images of icebergs from three places on the planet where you can still see them:

Antarctica,

Greenland and

Patagonia.

So, if you’re currently sweltering due to another hot summer, take a break with this short, visual journey through the ice. I hope you find something that’s not explicitly shown or stated in these images; a feeling, perhaps, that touches you—just below the surface.

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,

Candy

Antarctica

Antarctica and Greenland, home to the world's ice sheets, are the chief source of the world’s icebergs. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Antarctica and Greenland, home to the planet’s ice sheets, are the chief sources of the world’s icebergs. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Although icebergs float in the ocean, they are made of frozen freshwater, not saltwater. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Although icebergs float in the ocean, they are made of frozen freshwater, not saltwater. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Seals living off the coast of Antarctica are reliant on sea ice and use icebergs as haul-outs. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Seals living off the coast of Antarctica use icebergs as haul-outs. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Given our planet’s current rapid climate change, our grandchildren may never see a real iceberg. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Given the world’s current rapid climate change, our grandchildren may never see a real iceberg. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Iceberg formations are precious because they are temporary. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Iceberg formations are precious because they are temporary. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Greenland

A “tabular berg” is flat-topped and forms as ice breaks directly off an ice sheet or ice shelf. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

A “tabular berg” is flat-topped and forms as ice breaks directly off an ice sheet or ice shelf. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Most icebergs in the Northern Hemisphere break off from glaciers in Greenland. Sometimes, they drift south with the currents into the North Atlantic Ocean. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Most icebergs in the Northern Hemisphere break off from glaciers in Greenland. Sometimes, they drift south with the currents into the North Atlantic Ocean. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Inflatable Zodiac boats are ideal for cruising among icebergs. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Inflatable Zodiac boats are ideal for cruising among icebergs. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

As little as one-eighth of an iceberg is visible above the water. Most of its mass lies below the surface. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

As little as one-eighth of an iceberg is visible above the water. Most of its mass lies below the surface. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

“Columns” on icebergs appear as the ice melts unevenly. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

“Columns” on icebergs appear as the ice melts unevenly. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Icebergs that drift into warmer waters eventually melt. Scientists estimate the lifespan of an iceberg, from first snowfall on a glacier to final melting in the ocean, to be as long as 3,000 years. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Icebergs that drift into warmer waters eventually melt. Scientists estimate the lifespan of an iceberg—from first snowfall on a glacier to final dissolving in the ocean—to be as long as 3,000 years. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Patagonia

The Patagonia Plateau holds magnificent mountains, breathtakingly beautiful glaciers and dazzling icebergs. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

The Patagonia Plateau holds magnificent mountains, breathtakingly beautiful glaciers and dazzling icebergs. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

The shapes you see today in an iceberg today may not be the same forms that you would see tomorrow. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

The contours you see today in an iceberg may not be the same as those you would see tomorrow. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Nature fashions forms in ice that would baffle even the most skilled sculptor. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Nature fashions forms in ice that would baffle even the most skilled sculptor. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Some icebergs are blue, for the same reason water is blue. The chemical bond between oxygen and hydrogen in water absorbs light in the red end of the visible light spectrum. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Some icebergs are blue for the same reason water is blue. The chemical bond between oxygen and hydrogen in water absorbs light in the red end of the visible light spectrum. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Blue icebergs are not blue for the same reason the sky is blue. The sky is blue due to atmospheric scattering of light, a different phenomenon. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Blue icebergs are not blue for the same reason the sky is blue. The sky is blue due to atmospheric scattering of light, a different phenomenon. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

5 Comments »

  1. Jeffrey Hewitt August 18, 2015 at 8:47 am - Reply

    Alaska

  2. Mariangela Sarah Vie August 3, 2015 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    I would love to see icebergs in Antarctica!

  3. Murtala Alamai August 1, 2015 at 4:28 am - Reply

    That will be an interesting research to hear about

  4. Barney P. Popkin August 1, 2015 at 4:27 am - Reply

    Yikes, and in the early 1970s in Arizona, we were planning to float Alaskan icebergs to Los Angeles so LA would need less Colorado River water so the CR basin states would have more. Go figure.

  5. Alan M. Hoffberg July 30, 2015 at 11:06 am - Reply

    We have also seen very small ones in the northern Alaska region. These were breakaways from the glaciers.

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