Glaciers, at their core, are just supermassive chunks of ice. However, they are also one of the most fascinating natural wonders of our world. That said, even more fascinating is witnessing these massive blocks of ice collapse. Sadly, it is a sign indicating the repercussions of global warming. But still, the way in which these glaciers slowly and—almost—majestically break apart is captivating. The viral video below captures the moment a massive section of Argentina’s Perito Moreno Glacier breaks off, collapsing into Lago Argentina.
The above clip, about two minutes in length, gets off to an anti-climactic start. At first, it seems as though nothing is happening. However, soon enough, bits of ice begin to fall into the water below, sending ripples across the lake. Bit by bit, snow and ice come bursting from cracks in the ice like little explosions before, finally, the chunk collapses in toward the rest of the 3-mile-long glacier.
The glacier’s collapse itself is impossible to look away from. However, what’s even more thrilling, and potentially discomforting, is the way the chunk practically flips upside down, revealing just how much of the glacier is hidden beneath the surface of the water. As the glacier tips on its side, an icy landscape emerges from the water, pushing the green-blue liquid up mountain-like before breaking the surface.
The deep blue of the glacier from beneath the surface of the water is as stunning as the collapse itself. Viewers, equally captivated by the clip, shared their wonder in the comments.
“Incredible and frightening at the same time,” one YouTube user wrote. “I am astounded by the depth of that river/ocean there. The amount of ice that was under the surface blows my mind.”
Another added, “I was not expecting those hilly waves, or that dark blue piece to pop up. That was amazing! Great filming…and just the sound of the wind; perfect.”
About Argentina’s Perito Moreno Glacier
As stated, the above clip in itself is stunning. That said, the Perito Moreno Glacier’s statistics make the scene even more unbelievable.
According to Unofficial Networks, this particular glacier is one of the largest in the world. The glacier towers more than 200 feet above the water which implies there’s even more than that hiding beneath the surface. As stated, the glacier stretches a distance of 3.1 miles, and, given its supermassive status, attracts tourists from all over the world.
Per the video caption, what we saw in the video was an example of what is called “glacier calving,” also known as “ice calving.” This is, essentially, just the breaking away of ice chunks from the edges of a glacier. That massive blue hunk of ice that emerged from beneath the lake? That’s what’s called a “shooter,” a large chunk of the submerged portion of the iceberg that bursts through the water’s surface. As mesmerizing as it is, the shooters often cause large and often dangerous waves.