Watch: UK Ship Crosses Paths With World’s Largest Iceberg

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The survey also dropped the dramatic video taken by the ship’s crew.

Britain’s polar research ship had an unexpected encounter with the world’s largest iceberg. The British Antarctic Survey said Monday that scientists have collected seawater samples around the colossal berg as it drifts out of Antarctic waters. The sighting occurred shortly after researchers confirmed that the iceberg was “on the move” for the first time in 37 years. 

The world’s largest iceberg, A23a, roughly three times the size of New York City, is almost 4,000 square km (1,500 square miles).  A drone was put up to capture the unique iceberg. 

On Friday, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, en route to Antarctica for its inaugural scientific mission, navigated past the enormous iceberg identified as A23a near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, CBS reported. 

The survey also dropped the dramatic video taken by the ship’s crew. The footage was captured by Theresa Gossman, Matthew Gascoyne and Christopher Grey, with additions from Roseanne Smith, the British Antarctic Survey said in a press release. 

See the video here:

Dr Andrew Meijers, Chief Scientist aboard the RRS Sir David Attenborough and Polar Oceans Science Leader at British Antarctic Survey (BAS), said, “It is incredibly lucky that the iceberg’s route out of the Weddell Sea sat directly across our planned path, and that we had the right team aboard to take advantage of this opportunity. We’re fortunate that navigating A23a hasn’t had an impact on the tight timings for our science mission, and it is amazing to see this huge berg in person – it stretches as far as the eye can see.”

After breaking off from West Antarctica’s Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf in 1986, the iceberg, which formerly accommodated a Soviet research station, has predominantly remained immobile. This occurred when its base became lodged on the seabed of the Weddell Sea, Reuters reported. 

There is a possibility that A23a could once again become lodged at South Georgia Island, presenting a concern for Antarctica’s wildlife. The island is a breeding ground for millions of seals, penguins, and seabirds, and they rely on the surrounding waters for foraging. The colossal A23a could potentially block their access to these crucial areas.

 

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