Icebergs: huge, cool, majestic, mysterious… and mighty dangerous. Ever seen one? I haven’t yet, though it’s defo on my bucket list.
The following photos from MailOnline Travel have really got me fired up to go to Antarctica. There are a number of specialist tour operators to go with but Polar-Latitudes are probably one of the best: any company describing its business as “adventure travel” is good to go in my world!
Breaking from land and bobbing in the ocean for centuries upon centuries, icebergs are surely one of nature’s most beautiful masterpieces.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of them crack off glaciers and slide into the sea from the northern and southernmost tips of the globe. Only ten per cent of an iceberg is visible from above the surface of the water; the rest of its mass lies beneath it.
Formed from snowflakes settling into land and being compressed over time before breaking away in lumps, some defiant icebergs started their lives more than 30,000 years ago.
Polar-Latitudes glaciologist Robert Gilmore, who heads a pilgrimage to Antarctica every year, tells MailOnline Travel: “They melt incredibly slowly. And they move slowly too – two knots at most depending on the current.
“Icebergs vary hugely in appearance: the darker streaks found in some can be a result of icy water that fills the crevasses and later refreezes. The bluish icebergs are older and more compact, so they don’t refract light – it’s an optical illusion of sorts.”
Enjoy these stunning images with me.
Icebergs melt on a midsummer night at Jökulsárlón in Iceland, looming over crystal-clear water, under a tempestuous sky
Only ten per cent of an iceberg is visible from above the surface of the water, the rest of its mass lies beneath it, as seen here in Ralph A. Clevenger’s Antarctic photo
Whipped into grooved peaks by Greenland’s stormy weather, this iceberg looks worthy of a carefully carved sculpture
A colony of chinstrap penguins turns this ancient ice formation into a fun park, photographed in the Scotia Sea, Antarctica
This heavily textured Perito Moreno glacier is found at the Los Glaciares National Park in the Santa Cruz province, Argentina
Each year, hundreds of thousands of icebergs crack off glaciers and slide into the sea from the northern and southernmost tops of the globe; this one’s exact location is unknown
Icebergs vary hugely in appearance – the darker streaks found in some can be a result of ice water that fills the crevasses and later refreezes. Pictured, a bald eagle finds its perch in Alaska
While in Antarctica, photographer Alex Cornell captured this rare phenomenon – a flipped iceberg caused by an imbalance in its frozen body
Penguins gather in Antartica’s Iceberg Alley, a region of stunningly ancient glaciers located in the western Weddell Sea
Glaciologist Robert Gilmore tells MailOnline Travel: ‘They melt incredibly slowly – and they move slowly too, two knots at most depending on the current.’ Pictured, an Antarctic tabular iceberg that has degraded and is falling apart
A dry dock formation, its melting ice sculpted by waves and floating in calm seas around the Gerlache Passage, Antarctica
Large old icebergs contain centuries of windblown sediment and minerals, visible as layers when they roll over, as seen in this image from the U.S. Antarctic Program
A comparatively modest iceberg floating near the face of Jakobshavn in Isfjord, Ilulissat, Greenland during the summer
A jutting iceberg, location unknown, its vast moulded peaks viewed from both above and below the silvery clear water
A brief scene of magic unfolded here when the sun came out and mist was rising from Ilulissat Icefjord, the sea mouth of Sermeq Kujalleq – the most productive glacier in the Northern Hemisphere
An iceberg resting atop the glassy Jökulsárlón glacial lake in southeast Iceland, on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park
An iceberg at Alaska’s Inside Passage – the seemingly bluish icebergs are older and more compact, so they don’t refract light, forming an optical illusion
Tablet glaciers reach into the distance in Antarctica, in the circumpolar current just north of the South Shetland Islands
For more Antarctic ideas go to http://polar-latitudes.com/adventure-options