The largest iceberg in the world, from the South Pole, is now drifting towards the South Atlantic after 37 years of standstill.
After almost four decades of motionlessness, the iceberg, labelled A23a, has started moving again off the Antarctic Peninsula.
The colossal ice expanse measuring 4000 square kilometres is currently drifting northward into the South Atlantic. As currently the largest iceberg in the world, it is bigger than the island of Majorca.
Occasionally, icebergs from the Antarctic drift northwards into the South Atlantic. However, they are rarely as large as iceberg A23a.
The iceberg had already broken off the Filchner Ice Shelf on the edge of Antarctica in 1986, but soon after, touched down on the seabed, where it has been stuck ever since. Only now, after 37 years, has A23a broken free from the seabed again.
Buoyancy due to ice melt
According to researchers, the cause of this was the loss of ice mass underwater as a result of warmer ocean currents that gnawed away at the underside over time.
This gave the giant enough buoyancy to detach itself from the seabed. Under the influence of wind and ocean currents, the iceberg is now drifting northwards into the Atlantic.
WindRadar show strong winds in the South Atlantic.
It is moving along a typical route for such icebergs, towards the archipelago of South Georgia, over 2000 kilometres away. There, it could possibly scrape against the shallow seabed again, potentially getting stuck once again.
However, it may also narrowly miss the islands, melt more as it moves through the warmer waters of the South Atlantic and eventually slowly disintegrate.