This Is What An Upside-Down Iceberg Looks Like

Belly up! Here’s what the icy behemoths look like when they’ve had a few too many.

1. On a recent excursion to Antarctica, San Francisco-based filmmaker and designer Alex Cornell, 30, caught a rare glimpse of an iceberg’s underside.

Alex Cornell / Via alexcornell.com

Most icebergs’ hefty bodies are submerged under water, but occasionally they roll over, according to ScienceNews. Compared to the comprehensively white Antarctic, from a distance on their fast bouncy boat, the iceberg just looked like a piece of rock, Cornell wrote in an email to BuzzFeed.

As we got closer, it became clear that it was a pure jade iceberg. We had a naturalist onboard the zodiac boat with us, and he explained what we were seeing and why it was so exciting. To us, everything we came across was exciting (penguins! icebergs!), but this certainly stood out as a rare sight — something I had never seen before in real life, or even subsequently in photos.

3. Where do icebergs come from, anyway?

Alex Cornell / Via alexcornell.com

The ice giants break off from glaciers or massive ice sheets and meander along with ocean currents, according to the National Snow & Ice Data Center. So the flip occurs after the iceberg detaches from its parent, or when its ice melts unevenly and it keels over, oceanographer Louise Biddle told ScienceNews.

In a video he made about the shoot, Cornell said capturing images amid blindingly reflective surfaces is the biggest obstacle, especially because the mandatory sunglasses make it hard to review your work as you do on dry land. Of all of his projects, he never imagined a natural photo he took of ice in water would be so widely covered, he wrote on his company’s site.

4. Here’s another view of the spectacularly aquamarine ice, which steadily becomes coated with the flotsam of environmental elements.

Alex Cornell / Via alexcornell.com

“We were very lucky to come upon it during the short window of time before it blended back into white, after enough air, sun, and snow exposure,” said Cornell.

5. You can see even more footage of Cornell’s Antarctic shoot in his illustrative video.

Alex Cornell / Via alexcornell.com

Or catch more of his work (like this furry little guy) on his site or Instagram.

6. H/T ScienceNews

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