Earth's largest iceberg - 2 times bigger than London - is floating toward the equator

It is drifting around Antarctica for more than a year.
Nergis Firtina
Iceberg A-76A in the Drake Passage.
Iceberg A-76A in the Drake Passage.


According to the information shared by NASA's Earth Observatory on October 31, the world's largest iceberg, "A-76A," has entered the Drake Passage, a waterway that contains a fast-moving ocean current that will send the mighty berg on a one-way trip to its watery grave.

With a total area equal to about twice the size of London, the largest iceberg in the world may soon be put on an accelerated course toward its eventual demise after slowly drifting around Antarctica for more than a year and barely melting, according to a new satellite image.

According to National Ice Center (USNIC), A-76A also measured 135 kilometers long and 26 kilometers wide.

This natural-color image, taken by NASA's Terra satellite's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), clearly shows the berg. Observe how the iceberg's long, tabular shape sets it apart from sea ice found in the Southern Ocean further south.

The iceberg broke in May 2021

In May 2021, the parent iceberg A-76 of this one broke off from Antarctica's Ronne Ice Shelf. It was the biggest iceberg in the world at the time. The iceberg lost its distinction after breaking into three identified pieces within a month.

The largest of those fragments, Iceberg A-76A, is presently drifting in the Drake Passage, about 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) distant. The passage is a choppy body of water between Cape Horn in South America and the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica.

Earth's largest iceberg - 2 times bigger than London - is floating toward the equator
The map of the A76A.

Icebergs are frequently driven east by the powerful Antarctic Circumpolar Current as they move north via the Drake Passage. From there, icebergs frequently whip north toward the equator, where they quickly melt in the warmer waters.

More about icebergs

A piece of freshwater ice that has broken off a glacier or ice shelf and is floating freely in open water is called an iceberg if it is longer than 15 meters. "Tip of the iceberg" was coined to describe a small portion of a larger, invisible problem because a large portion of an iceberg sits below the surface. Icebergs are seen as a significant maritime risk.

Most Popular

The Dutch word ijsberg, which literally translates to "ice mountain" and is related to the German Eisberg, the Low Saxon Iesbarg, and the Swedish isberg, is the source of the word iceberg.

message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron