Unsplash | Twitter/adamvaughan_uk
Unsplash | Twitter/adamvaughan_uk

World's Largest Iceberg of More Than 1,600 sq mi Has Broken Away from Antarctica

Olowokandi Fiyin
May 21, 2021
05:20 P.M.

The world’s largest iceberg, which measures about 175 km long and covers more than 1,600 sq mi, has reportedly broken away from Antarctica. The floating iceberg was first spotted on May 13.


Antarctica has given birth to a record-breaking iceberg ― the world’s most enormous iceberg. According to the European Space Agency, the iceberg was broken away from the western side of the Ronne Ice Shelf.

The iceberg, which has been labeled A-76 by authorities, was first spotted by British polar oceanographer Keith Markison before the satellites of the ESA picked up on the object on May 13.

A photo of a giant iceberg. | Photo: Unsplash

A photo of a giant iceberg. | Photo: Unsplash

The enormous ice slab, which is shaped like an ironing board, has a surface area that spans about 1,668 square miles, making it larger than the Spanish Island of Majorca, which occupies 1,405 sq mi of landmass.

The A-76 is 175 km long, and 25 km wide and is currently floating in the Weddell Sea. According to reports, iceberg calving is a natural phenomenon involving huge portions of ice breaking off the ice shelf at regular intervals.


Before the record-breaking A-76, there was iceberg A-23A which was 1,305 sq mi in size. The calving of the A-76 hasn’t been linked to adverse climate change as its melting would not result in an increase in sea levels.

The A-76 is reportedly likely to break into two or more pieces in the future.


Scientists explained that it would not affect the sea level given the A-76 was part of a floating ice shelf. However, if it were an ice sheet or glacier, the same would not be said because they are usually found on land.

The Ronne from which the A-76 calved is reportedly one of the largest floating ice shelves. According to research glaciologist Ted Scambos, the Ronne and The Ross ― another huge ice shelf ― have behaved in “a stable, quasi-periodic fashion.”


As for the unique name of the giant iceberg, A-76, it was reported that icebergs are named from the Antarctic quadrant from which they initially broke off. The A-76 is reportedly likely to break into two or more pieces in the future.

The breaking of A-76 comes two years after some scientists argued that human activities and not the occurrence of natural cycles caused increasing temperatures worldwide.

Researchers shared that the fastest temperature rise over the last 2,000 years occurred in the second half of the 20th century, thanks to the Industrial Revolution. However, this wasn’t the case in the early ‘80s.

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