A bizarre sculpture of ice carved with the elements of nature appeared at a distance, when my eyes sparkled with excitement and thrill. I was in a bus with nearly thirty other people, some half asleep, some exhausted after almost a four hour long journey, and others who were still awake were in awe of what they saw, just like I was. I just had a glimpse of this other-worldly terrain and sitting there calm was not an option anymore. I got my camera equipments ready and glued my face to the window gazing at the far away lagoon bewitched by the haunting beauty of the icebergs.
The term ‘iceberg’ is derived from the Dutch word ‘Ijsberg’ which literally means ice mountain. Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in Southeast Iceland is formed with the broken off ice pieces from Vatnajökull glacier. The lagoon covers 18 square kilometers of area and is as deep as 248 meters at its deepest points. These are the figures and the facts and while I was busy contemplating what was in front of my eyes, the tour guide was busy doing his duty.
I’ve seen tens of environmental documentaries and movies `showing icebergs and glaciers, but trust me the grandeur and magnificence of watching these up close is inexplicable. It is one of those places that feed our imaginations.
After spending some time there, we embarked on a ferry boat to have a even closer look of these gigantic lumps of ice floating around in the lagoon. We were close but not too close, as these chunks of ice are floating, they are likely to turn upside down anytime when hit with a larger wave or stronger winds, although the possibility of this happening is very low. Now what is even more interesting is that these frozen chunks of ice that we were so amazingly looking at above the water surface has much more to it. The part of it visible to the eyes is just 1/10th of it, the remaining 90% is underwater. This is where the phrase ‘the tip of the iceberg’ comes from. The size of the icebergs can vary from a few inches to a few meters, where icebergs in Antarctica are the exception. Some of the icebergs in Antarctica are so big that they are measured in miles and not meters. The floating makes the collision, hence giving birth to the new smaller icebergs.
My first real encounter with the icebergs left me mesmeric and beholden towards our planet Earth. Although this was definitely my first face off with the frozen side of this planet, but not the last. There is so much to see yet, so much that I don’t know yet, and so much that I will never ever know.
When are you having your first real encounter with icebergs or did you already have one? Tell me about your experiences in the comments below.