I have to be honest. I never had much interest in icebergs…those massive chunks of ancient ice that break off polar glaciers each year and slowly make their way south to our waters. At worst they are a hazard to ships (Titanic for example!) and oil rigs, and at best they are the main ingredient in Quidi Vidi Brewery’s wonderful Iceberg Beer.
I’m aware of the fact that tourists go mad for icebergs though, and apparently this spring has brought a bumper crop of the things. My iceberg-filled Facebook and Twitter feeds have planted a seed of interest and pushed me to do a little research, and I thought I’d share some cool facts about icebergs:
- Icebergs are from 10,000-20,000 years old. To put that in perspective, keep in mind that the human race were still hunter-gatherer “cave” people at that point in time.
- Icebergs bits are completely safe to consume, as they are made from the purest water on earth.
- About 90% of an iceberg is under water, hence the phrase “just the tip of the iceberg”.
- Every year roughly 40,000 icebergs calve from the Greenland glaciers. Of this number, only about 400-800 make it to Newfoundland waters.
- Icebergs weigh about 100,000 tonnes!
Icebergs served a great purpose this past weekend: they gave us a reason to go for a ride. Here’s some pictures from our “Berg Hunt”! If you want to see more professional pictures, search #nlwx on Twitter, or check out CBC’s photo gallery here.