From 17-Oct-2018 NASA ICE tweet:

I'm curious of the actual dimensions, and if possible a complete photo. And curious in a scifi sort of way if they have a ratio of 1:4:9

From yesterday's #IceBridge flight: A tabular iceberg can be seen on the right, floating among sea ice just off of the Larsen C ice shelf. The iceberg's sharp angles and flat surface indicate that it probably recently calved from the ice shelf.

NASA ICE tabular iceburg from Larsen C

from a following tweet (for clarification):

2001 Space Odyssey monolith


2 Answers 2


Not likely.

Quoting Kelly Brunt, an ice scientist with NASA and at the University of Maryland, from What the Heck Is the Deal with This Weird, Square Iceberg? at LiveScience.com:

What makes this one a bit unusual is that it looks almost like a square,

which does not rhyme with anything in your suggested 1:4:9 ratio.

The article mentions the obvious

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

but that only tells you that 90% is under water, nothing about its absolute height above sea level.


There have been rectangular tabular icebergs in the past so this is not uncommon at all.

Kelly Brunt, an ice scientist with NASA and the University of Maryland said:

Tabular icebergs form, she said, through a process that's a bit like a fingernail growing too long and cracking off at the end. They're often rectangular and geometric as a result

What makes this one a bit unusual is that it looks almost like a square,"

So I think we can categorically state that the coordinates in the plane of the sea are not 1:4 or 1:9 or even 4:9

And we also know that underwater there will be a good 90% of its mass so it's going to be closer to a cube than the famous monolith from 2001.

A better photo, showing the whole berg shows just how non-rectangular it actually is at : https://bobcat.grahamdigital.com/30b1f2f70fffbc15f96f9b08712619ca2fd656e8/crop-640x360-000.jpgenter image description here]2

A google search for rectangular tabular icebergs returns a few beautiful examples over the last few years. There is a nice photo by Carole-Anne Fooks here, and I really like this one from icestories.exploratorium.edu:

enter image description here


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