These Amazing Striped Icebergs in Antarctica Look Like Candy

They might look like candy, but the stripes are actually salty.

Photo: Oyvind Tangen

Icebergs form when large blocks of ice break off a glacier or an ice shelf and are floating freely in open water. This ice consists of pure fresh water built up from snow falling on the Antarctic continent over millennia. The floating chunks of freshwater ice then interact with the salty seawater beneath them.

Striped icebergs are born when seawater is drawn deep under ice shelves by strong oceanic currents. The water cools down and freezes to the base of the ice shelf. Since this new ice consists of seawater that contains organic matter and minerals, it gives the iceberg a variety of color and texture. As the wind and the waves break the bergs into further pieces, the different colored layers can develop amazing patterns.

As these images testify, striped icebergs in a variety of colors, including brown, black, yellow, and blue have been spotted in freezing waters around Antarctica. They are truly breathtaking.

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