A rectangular iceberg in Antarctica is capturing attention online for its near-perfect shape.
"The ice has time to spread out and become perfectly flat", Poinar adds, so when an iceberg breaks off from a large ice shelf along an existing fissure, it looks like a large, flat rectangle.
"It's not uncommon to see that in Antarctica - although that [the tabular iceberg spotted by NASA] is a fresh and sharp looking one", Ted Scambos, a senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said in an interview.
An iceberg recently spotted by NASA scientists looks like it was carefully cut into a ideal rectangle, and it's getting a lot of attention because of those unexpected angles and straight lines.
Rectangular icebergs aren't even all that unusual, although this one is a bit more rectangular than most. Tabular icebergs form when they split off from ice shelves, and sometimes the cracks that divide them from their parent ice form in geometric patterns, including straight lines. We get the type that everyone can envision in their head that sank the Titanic, and they look like prisms or triangles at the surface and you know they have a insane subsurface.
Categorized as a tabular iceberg, the square-like iceberg was estimated to be over a mile across.
"[Icebergs] look like these lovely pristine white things from a distance, but if you look a little closer, they're really mangled and full of cracks", she says.
Many of thelargest icebergs on record have formed this way.
As with regular icebergs, just 10 percent of its mass is visible in the picture, though the subsurface mass is would look similar to what's visible above.
A huge crack has been spreading across the Antarctic Lasen C ice shelf for many years, but it began accelerating late last year. This iceberg looks pretty fresh, she said.