A huge iceberg that is around six times the size of Manhattan is floating around and slowly moving into the ocean off Antarctica. The movements of this massive iceberg could threaten shipping during the winter, as per scientists who are looking into the matter.
The iceberg is labeled iceberg B31, and from what we understand, it covers over 255 square miles and could likely be a third of a mile thick, based on a report from scientists at NASA's Earth Observatory.
This iceberg was calved from Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier back in November of 2013. The crack that created this beast of an iceberg was first spotted in 2011, yet nothing was done to prevent this from happening today.
Since removing itself from the Pine Island Glacier, B31 has moved out of Pine Island Bay and into the sea of Amundsen.
"The iceberg is now well out of Pine Island Bay and will soon join the more general flow in the Southern Ocean, which could be east or west in this region," said iceberg researcher Grant Bigg.
If the iceberg should make its way to the Southern Ocean, it would be difficult to track, mainly due to Antarctic winter that can produce long weeks of complete darkness. Now, if you're expecting this beast to melt, you may be out of luck. An iceberg of this size could float around for a long time, more than likely for a whole year or more.
"We are doing some research on local ocean currents to try to explain the motion properly. It has been surprising how there have been periods of almost no motion, interspersed with rapid flow," Bigg added. "There were a couple of occasions early on when there might have been partial grounding or collisions with the seafloor, as B31 bounced from one side of the Bay to the other."
It is interesting to see if B31 will cause any significant damage or if something could be done to increase how fast it melts before any possible disruption of shipping.
Whatever the case, NASA and its scientists may have to intervene to keep this massive beast under control.