Watch a Floating, 500 Square Mile Iceberg Nearly Crash Into Antarctica

It was very close!
Close calls

A nearly 500-square-mile-wide iceberg that was free to flounder in Antarctica crashed into Antarctica earlier this month. This near-miss could have caused further damage to the already fragile ice shelf.

According to, the European Space Agency's Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite watched as A-74 swung around and narrowly avoided colliding the Brunt Ice Shelf in the past two weeks. ESA scientists believe that A-74 could have broken up 656 square miles of Antarctica's shelf if it crashed. This would leave Antarctica in worse shape due to climate change.

No Loitering

According to an ESA press release, A-74 broke off the Brunt Ice Shelf in February but it remained in the area thanks to the ocean currents that kept it there, according to a press release. The ice shelf remains in danger despite its close encounter with A-74.

ESA researcher Mark Drinkwater stated in the release that the nose-shaped part of the ice shelf is larger than A-74 and remains connected to Brunt Ice Shelf but only barely. The possibility of the berg colliding more violently than this part could have caused the fracture of the remaining Ice Bridge, leading to it breaking apart. Sentinel satellite imagery will be used to continue monitoring the situation.



In 2017, the ice shelf was declared unsafe. Researchers stationed there then moved inland in an effort to prevent cracks and chasms from fracturing ice. Even without the potential crash, climate change is likely to continue to cause more severe damage to the ice shelf.

READ MORE: A wild satellite view shows a collision of the giant A-74 iceberg in Antarctica []

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