Pictures don’t do anything in Antarctica justice. Just because there isn’t a whole lot down there but ice, people tend to underestimate how large it is. The truth is, the continental United States could fit inside Antarctica easily. That’s why when we take a look at an 18-mile crack that NASA has observed in the Pine Island Glacier, it is easy to draw the conclusion that it is not that big of a deal. A mere thin line in a sea of ice is what it appears from the air, but in reality, this crack is more than 18 miles long. More impressive is its other stats. In some places along the fissure, the distance is 800 feet across and over 180 feet deep.
Scientists say that as impressive as the crack is now, it’s growing at an alarming rate. In fact, scientists believe that over the course of 2012, the glacier will eventually create an epic iceberg 350
square miles in size that will float off into the ocean north. Now, the gigantic iceberg will melt as it heads for warmer zones of Earth, but it is still a major environmental event. Both of Earth’s polar caps are losing ice, and the reality is that scientists simply don’t know why. Is it global warming wreaking havoc on Antarctica and Arctic Circle? Or is this just another phase of our majestic planet doing what it does?
Looks like we’ll just have to wait and see.