Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare

Glacier Explorers, Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand

Glacier Explorers, Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand. April 2015

This is actually a truly rare sight.  I was travelling in New Zealand last year and visiting the famous Mount Cook Aoraki area.  Part of the itinerary was the Glacier Explorers tour in the Tasman Glacier terminal lake where we wore lifejackets and sat in a boat to view the amazing glaciers and mountains around us.  Low and behold, we chanced upon a look at a freshly fallen iceberg.  

Freshly fallen icebergs are a really rare sight in nature and we were so lucky to be able to see this on our trip!  Usually icebergs are covered in snow or its underbelly has already changed its colour to white by the time you get to see them.  From what I remember the guide telling us, within an hour, an iceberg changes to white after breaking off.  Thus, this iceberg, since it was so new and freshly fallen, still had its transparent blue tones.  It was seriously a marvelous sight to behold.  We even got to hold some of the iceberg pieces too in our hands! :O 😀  I think this was a once in a lifetime experience!

A little more professional info about these rare transparent blue-toned icebergs:

“Icebergs form when chunks of freshwater ice calve—or break off—from glaciers and ice shelves, as well as other icebergs.  Because of the varying densities of ice and saltwater, only about 10 percent of an iceberg will ever show at the surface, and that protruding tip will gather dirt and snow.

“In the case of this jewel-like iceberg, the ice is probably very old.  In glaciers, years of compression force out air pockets and gradually make the ice denser, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.  “When glacier ice becomes extremely dense, the ice absorbs a small amount of red light, leaving a bluish tint in the reflected light, which is what we see.”  In addition, minerals and organic matter may have seeped into the underwater part of the iceberg over time, creating its vivid green-blue color.”

Quoted from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/photographer-captures-stunning-underside-flipped-iceberg-180953951/

Other blogger’s entries for the photo challenge: (if you don’t want to be pinged on this list, let me know and I will remove your link)

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32 comments on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare

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