NASA scientists BAFFLED by perfectly rectangular MILE-WIDE iceberg

Perfectly cubic pyrite crystals on marlstone. Image credits Carles Millan

Perfectly cubic pyrite crystals on marlstone. Image credits Carles Millan

The image was taken during an IceBridge flight which is a survey from the air of the planet's polar ice that gives a 3D view of the ice providing information on how it changes over time.

Brunt explained that tabular icebergs - which are usually wide, flat, and long - are created when ice shelves split.

The US space agency said the object's sharp angles and flat surface suggested it had recently broken away from the Larsen C ice shelf.

For years, Antarctic scientists have documented the curiously straight-edged icebergs floating in the water after snapping off from ice shelves - the ends of massive glaciers that float over the ocean.

Kelly Brunt, an ice scientist with NASA and the University of Maryland, said such icebergs are fairly common.

A photo shows a thick block of ice up to a mile long dramatically protruding from a sea of thin frozen water, thought to have recently splintered off.

Speaking to LiveScience, University of Maryland Earth scientist Kelly Brunt compared calving events to a long fingernail that eventually snaps off at the end; the process often results in seemingly flawless geometric edges.

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The tabular berg's near perfectly shaped edges and form make it appear as if it has been artificially cut from an even bigger sheet of ice.

"What makes this one a bit unusual is that it looks nearly like a square", Brunt said.

Explaining how the iceberg formed, she said: "We get two types of icebergs: 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".

Brunt said the iceberg could be unstable and break if someone were to walk on it.

As with all icebergs, the part visible above the surface is just the top 10 percent of its mass.

A triangular iceberg was also seen nearby, surrounded by several different types of sea ice.

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