Antarctica is a huge icy continent that appears completely dormant, but is in motion – which is sometimes worrying. Blocks of ice larger than major cities break off and sail aimlessly across the planet’s south.
This is the case of A23a, a massive iceberg that has been stuck on the ocean floor for three decades and has only recently begun to move.
The video of the massive ice mass was proudly released by researchers from the British Antarctic Survey, which runs British bases in Antarctica.
A23a is nicknamed the “Giant Mountain” due to its enormous size – at 3,990 square kilometres, it is about two and a half times larger than the city of São Paulo.
Its first movement was in 1986, when it broke off the Filchner Ice Shelf.
But the iceberg has remained relatively stable since then, until it broke off in late November. In the coming months, it will follow what researchers call an “iceberg route” into the Southern Ocean. This is an event considered normal until now.
Dr Andrew Myers, scientific lead of the UK Polar Expeditions, said: “It is incredible to see this huge iceberg in person, it extends as far as the eye can see.” Since this is a unique and relatively rare event to be recorded, scientists will be closely monitoring the entire path of A23a.
In addition to photography, the researchers collected ice samples to try to record records of accelerating climate change.
Penguins and glaciers are suffering from climate change in Antarctica.