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How Do Icebergs Form? 5 Facts You Didn’t Know

22 October 2020

Almost every avid traveler dreams about seeing icebergs at least once in a lifetime. And if you’re reading this article, chances are you’re one of them. Imagine that this long-awaited moment has already come. You’re embarking on your arctic expedition to explore a mysterious Arctic kingdom. On your way there, you meet mighty icebergs. Floating around cold waters, they create the unbreakable icy shields that protect the Northern Hemisphere from unwanted visitors.

However, have you ever questioned how an iceberg forms in the Arctic? There is some magic in this process, which is called calvin. Large chunks of ice that break off from ice sheets or glaciers create icebergs. When we see them far away, they look similar to unmovable giants stranded in the ocean. And you may have an incredible chance to marvel at them on your trip.

Do you want to know more about icebergs? Keep on reading our 5 interesting facts about them!

Iceberg locations | Ragnar blog

Fact 1. Icebergs Can Travel Long Distances 

Following the ocean winds and currents, icebergs can drift up to 14 km per day. Their speed depends on numerous factors and an iceberg’s size and shape are among them. In the Northern Hemisphere, the largest floating iceberg was recorded in 2010, near the Petermann Ice Island. When these frozen behemoths reach warm waters, they start to melt, creating a pond of icy cracks. During your arctic trip, you are likely to see them and feel all the strength they irradiate. Don’t forget to grab your camera to capture a lovely shot!

Interesting facts about icebergs | Ragnar blog

Fact 2. Icebergs Are Dangerous for Ships 

In 1912, the greatest tragedy happened in the North Atlantic waters. The biggest ship liner at that time, Titanic, hit an iceberg near Newfoundland, Canada, and went deep down the ocean. Nearly 1.500 people lost their lives. Nobody expected that Titanic, a best-in-class British liner, would meet the iceberg on its way and go deep down the ocean waters. After this disaster, the International Ice Patrol was established with the goal of monitoring icebergs in the Arctic and Atlantic waters. This way, the organization hopes to keep control of the Oceans and avoid similar accidents in the future. 

Icebergs Are Dangerous for Ships | Ragnar blog

Fact 3. Not All Icebergs Are White

Although most people associate icebergs with huge white lumps, they can come at different hues. They can be green, blue, or even striped. There are various factors that shape the iceberg’s color. And light interaction is one of them. So, how do icebergs form different colors? The blue ones are created from glacial ice fused into crystal slabs. In the Arctic area, you’ll meet a myriad of white-colored icebergs covered by a snowy blanket. And this fact explains why you may see them as white. Yellow, green or striped icebergs have marine water as their  main element. 

Iceberg’s colors | Ragnar blog

Fact 4. Icebergs Aren’t Salty

Icebergs don’t have salt as freshwater brings them to life. Since it’s always cold in the Arctic, rainy water freezes on the land, forming non-salty crystals. When some time passes by, these frozen icy particles become giant slabs of glaciers. Thanks to a powerful force of gravity, these enormous glacial chunks are pulled off the ground to the Arctic Ocean. After that, a hero’s journey begins where a mighty iceberg is a leading protagonist. It slides across salty water and travels like a train with no gears meeting ocean wildlife and avid travelers on its path. And during your arctic trip, you may be one of them as well! 

Icebergs Aren’t Salty | Ragnar blog

Fact 5. Nearly 90% of Iceberg’s Volume is Under Water 

Scientists found out that 90% of icebergs lie underwater. It’s hard to believe that only 10% of them are seen from the ocean surface. And it’s just a tiny tip of the iceberg! How does it happen? The main reason for this phenomenon is the correlation between ice and the sea water density – 0.92 g/mL and 1.0 g/mL respectively. Also, the volume percentage of icebergs above and below the ocean surface may vary due to water temperature and salinity. But these variations don’t change the density much so that we can still say that we see only 10% of the iceberg. 

Percentage of Iceberg’s Under Water | Ragnar blog

     Marvel at Majestic Icebergs With Ragnar! 

The Arctic realm has numerous undiscovered miracles, and icebergs are among them. These icy slabs protect the Arctic area from unwelcome guests, standing like battlements. Many brave polar explorers such as John Cabot, Fridtjof Nansen, and others tried to reach this rigid territory. But their efforts went in vain. Now, you have this unbelievable opportunity to see breathtaking locations surrounded by mighty icebergs. Embark on your arctic adventure with Ragnar!

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