While on an expedition in Antarctica, interface designer and filmmaker Alex Cornell was treated to the rare sight of a massive iceberg that had recently flipped over, revealing an extraordinarily vivid blue underside. With the strikingly polished ice ranging in hue from light aqua to dark teal to near-black, this breathtaking specimen looks “more like a galactic artifact than anything terrestrial,” according to Cornell in a discussion with Fstoppers.
Icebergs are normally white because of the air bubbles trapped inside, Jan Lieser, a marine glaciologist at the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Co-operative Research Center in Tasmania, tells the Sydney Morning Herald. The deep blue color of this iceberg indicates virtually no air inclusion, most likely as a result of pressure from accumulating snow squeezing out all the air.
What we see of an iceberg is only about 10 percent of its entirety, with the majority of the mass hidden beneath the surface of the water. Dr. Lieser explains, “While the iceberg is in the water it actually melts, so that balance becomes imbalanced and, at some stage, which nobody can really predict, these icebergs flip and turn.” Those flips, which are extraordinary to witness, are even powerful enough to sometimes create tsunami-like conditions.