ANTARCTICA — Does Mother Nature own a cookie cutter? By the looks of a NASA scientist's recent photos, it almost seems plausible.
Last week near Antarctica's Larsen C. ice shelf, NASA's Jeremy Harbeck spotted two rectangular icebergs, each with four nearly perfect corners. Harbeck encountered the unusual specimens during Operation Icebridge, NASA's longest-running aerial survey of polar ice.
“I thought it was pretty interesting; I often see icebergs with relatively straight edges, but I've not really seen one before with two corners at such right angles like this one had,” Harbeck said.
According to the Washington Post, this photogenic iceberg's exquisite right angles can be explained by the fact that it's tabular. Tabular icebergs, which are wide and flat, calve from already-floating shelves, allowing for a friction-less break in a straight line—facilitated by the berg's crystalline makeup.
Operation Icebridge flies over Antarctica in October and November and Greenland from March to May.