Gallery: Naturally striped Antarctic icebergs are almost too beautiful ...

The dark blue stripes are made of very old ice, compressed over countless years.
The dark blue stripes are made of very old ice, compressed over countless years.



Norwegian sailor Oyvind Tangen took the photos from a research ship 660 miles north of the Antarctic. The brown and black stripes you see on the icebergs are created by sediment underneath the ice shelf, while the deep blue ice is the result of compressed snow and a lack of air bubbles.

These gorgeous frozen glaciers are also described as “frozen waves.” You can see more photos of this phenomenon on the website for the Australian Antarctic Division. While many of the shapes are suggestive of movement, the formations are actually created slowly over time with compressed ice—not in an instant as waves hit the air. Blue ice is known by explorers for being older, more solid and dependable. It’s also extraordinarily beautiful. Thanks, icebergs.

+ Australian Antarctic Division


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  1. sarahbt March 10, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    These are amazing! They certainly give Michael Levine’s work a run for his money! Is there a way to get in touch with the photographer and obtain prints?

  2. curlye October 19, 2009 at 11:28 pm


  3. Alan October 10, 2009 at 11:57 am

    very impressive. very beautiful.

  4. Solartown October 10, 2009 at 11:49 am

    These pictures make me want to eat the icebergs…they look so tasty!

  5. s3xt0y October 10, 2009 at 1:56 am

    Beautiful, the second one looks like a slice of salmon dyed blue. lol.

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