apr 08 2008

The colored iceberg – the beauty of the Antarctic

Published by at 4:10 pm under Stories from the sea

In March I published a post about a marbled iceberg. I could never imagine the attention these pictures got. Since then the pictures of this beautiful iceberg has been published in newspapers and shown on news channels all over the world. Daily Telegraph described it as a «Rainbow iceberg», while Daily Mail compared it to a «giant humbug».

Some days ago I received an email from a scientist participating on the same survey in the Antarctic Ocean. He gave me the right to publish his pictures of the same iceberg, and here are some of them!

rainbow iceberg

Leif Nøttestad took 14 pictures of the iceberg as the research vessel passed it. This gives us the opportunity to study the iceberg from different angles.

beautiful iceberg

Here we can see the top of the iceberg. The next picture was taken as the vessel («G.O.Sars») was sailing away from the iceberg.

One of the comments to the first post about this iceberg said that «The way those lines come together remind me of the lines on an agate». I have to agree. Agate iceberg is an adequate name of such an iceberg.

Marbled iceberg

There are no closeups of this iceberg, but by zooming in and cropping one of the original image files from Leif Nøttestad we can get an idea of what it looks like on short range.

closeup of iceberg

When the Norwegian scientists saw this iceberg passing, one of them said: This must be the beauty of the Antarctic! All photos: Leif Nøttestad.

47 responses so far

47 Responses to “The colored iceberg – the beauty of the Antarctic”

  1. Moon 08 apr 2008 at 5:12 pm

    That is so beautiful.
    Before you started posting these pictures, I never would have imagined the sheer beauty of an iceberg.

  2. asithion 09 apr 2008 at 5:28 pm

    These photos are great. Too bad you do not have an email link on the post. I would have love to forward the link to some people via email.

  3. Grandyon 09 apr 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Great pics!! I’ll have to share with my hubby as he would definitely appreciate them.

  4. Bethon 14 apr 2008 at 11:20 pm

    My goodness, that marbled iceberg is just amazingly beautiful! I had no idea such things existed, thank you so much for posting these photos. And I agree that «agate iceberg» is a much better name. ;)

  5. Lindaon 16 apr 2008 at 12:56 am

    These are the coolest pictures ever! Thank You!

  6. adminon 16 apr 2008 at 8:51 am

    Thanks for all the nice comments. I’ll let the photographer know.

  7. Ronon 16 apr 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Nature at its finest, it really is beautiful.

  8. Troyon 20 apr 2008 at 3:12 am

    And just think, if it weren’t for me causing global warming in my SUV, you’d have never seen it…

  9. blargumentoron 20 apr 2008 at 4:46 am

    Wow…I’ve never seen anything like that before. Great pics!

  10. Cool Pictureson 20 apr 2008 at 9:07 am

    Great pics, it’s really beautyful

    sometimes nature produces truly amazing things

  11. Slimefaceon 20 apr 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Very beautiful!!

  12. allan grimshawon 20 apr 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Fantastic,its nearly unbelievable.

  13. Matton 21 apr 2008 at 5:58 pm

    That is truly amazing. Do they know how the lines are formed?

  14. androoon 21 apr 2008 at 9:31 pm

    awesome collection of images… a thumbs up in stumbleupon!

  15. Blues Manon 24 apr 2008 at 5:41 am

    Great images. I have to wonder about the cause of the marbled effect. Have icebergs like this appeared before? Is the appearance sign of global warming?

  16. Cindyon 24 apr 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I too want to know more about what caused such beauty, and the timeframe it took to create this amazing item.

  17. Jimon 24 apr 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Not a single person has given God the glory and the credit for creating the elements required and bringing them together to make this wonder.

  18. bobbystahron 24 apr 2008 at 11:01 pm

    «# Jimon 24 Apr 2008 at 3:38 pm
    Not a single person has given God the glory and the credit for creating the elements required and bringing them together to make this wonder.»

    No wonder….it was man that made the pollution that was the likely cause of those ‘lovely colours’.. …

  19. Nick Phillipson 25 apr 2008 at 12:35 am

    Wow, is that for real? It’s absolutely beautiful. I never imagined an ice berg could even have any other color besides white :D Incredible I would say.

  20. C. Fraseron 25 apr 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Damn, beautiful pictures. Thanks for posting them. And thanks to the scientists for sharing them.

  21. Samantha Sueon 27 apr 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Who knew?

  22. Jurgenon 27 apr 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Unreal… that is so beautiful!

  23. Nashua Royon 28 apr 2008 at 1:15 am

    I assume that the various layers are colored by the snowfall of a particular year. If this is correct, I wonder what years those colored layers represent. Particularly the wide dark one on the right. Possibly when a volcanic cloud produced the «Year without a summer», I don’t remember the date except that it was in the early 1800’s. The «ice core» scientists would be intersted in this berg.

  24. Remyon 30 apr 2008 at 2:40 am

    Wow, beautiful. I’m surprised no one has accused this of being photoshopped.. Thank God! I hate when people do that.

  25. Jennyon 30 apr 2008 at 3:37 am

    Oh wow that’s nuts. I’ve never seen anything like it…

  26. arichon 30 apr 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Looks photoshopped to me…

  27. sir jorgeon 30 apr 2008 at 11:38 pm

    that’s insane!

  28. Marisaon 02 mai 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Is that for real? Was this photoshop?

  29. Jordanon 05 mai 2008 at 5:38 pm

    While I realize that a ‘humbug’ is a nice chewy sweet in the UK, I choose to believe that the Daily Mail was calling this thing a big, fat fraud (ie. «humbug» referring to a fraud or impostor, implying an element of unjustified publicity and spectacle.)

  30. adminon 05 mai 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Thanks for all the comments.
    Yes Jordan! The article in Daily Mail is referring to a sweet in UK! And to Marisa: This is not Photoshop – it is nature!

  31. Karenon 07 mai 2008 at 1:49 pm

    I would like to know if there is a place a person could read about the theories on the cause of the marbling?

  32. Babaon 07 mai 2008 at 9:03 pm

    This ice berg is COOL

  33. #Shaggingbobon 12 mai 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Fantastic!!!!! Is there a way that it could be preserved and studied??????????????????

  34. Barryon 19 mai 2008 at 8:55 pm

    its photoshopped and God did it

  35. Susanon 30 mai 2008 at 5:29 pm

    …. creo que la naturaleza nunca nos dejará de impresionar. Gracias por regalarnos estas magnificas e impresionantes imágenes.

  36. Jaimeeon 12 jun 2008 at 9:16 pm

    That’s amazing!

  37. GPon 02 jul 2008 at 5:53 am

    The «dark» ring is clear or Blue..formation called «blue ice» — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_ice_(glacial), is formed when snow falls on a glacier and during it’s migration to the bottom of the glacier the pressure forces the air bubbles out of it, producing clear ice or «blue ice».

  38. Cendrine Marrouaton 07 jul 2008 at 4:11 am

    Amazing! The colours are absolutely beautiful!

  39. Jeanette Cheezumon 03 aug 2008 at 4:37 pm

    I have several iceberg pictures that we took on a cruise to Alaska a couple of years ago. We thought «the blue ice » was spectacular. I have to tell you the rainbow iceberg, is nothing short of amazing. Thank you for sharing these.

  40. Ryanon 16 aug 2008 at 2:18 am

    «Icebergs in the Antarctic area sometimes have stripes, formed by layers of snow that react to different conditions.

    Blue stripes are often created when a crevice in the ice sheet fills up with meltwater and freezes so quickly that no bubbles form.

    When an iceberg falls into the sea, a layer of salty seawater can freeze to the underside. If this is rich in algae, it can form a green stripe.

    Brown, black and yellow lines are caused by sediment, picked up when the ice sheet grinds downhill towards the sea.»


  41. windeon 19 feb 2009 at 2:42 pm

    These pictures are beautiful!!
    I’m a student at the school of arts in Utrecht I study fashion design. These pictures have inspired me so much and I was wondering if I’m allowed to use one of the pictures. Or is there copyright on it? You would really help me out!
    Looking forward to hear from you.

  42. adminon 19 feb 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Yes there is a copyright on it but on behalf of the photographer I can give you permission to use it as long as it is a part of your school work (and not commercial use).
    Magnus Tangen

  43. tyleron 23 nov 2009 at 4:17 pm

    this is freakin awsome man everyone stop this global warming thing and save these iceburgs

  44. arowanafishon 23 nov 2010 at 2:42 am

    Nice and informative article. The colors are absolutely stunning!

  45. Benon 24 mar 2011 at 2:05 pm

    i love this colored iceberg………. it is so awesome

  46. Benon 24 mar 2011 at 3:09 pm

    STOP global warming thing and save these icebergs. they are so cool and i would hate for a thing like this to be lost forever.

  47. Chrison 13 sept 2011 at 2:23 am

    Incredible, it really is like a giant humbug. I didn’t even know this could happen!