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This Perfectly Straight Iceberg Is Totally Real

Here's how it got to be so perfect.

Usually everything in nature is raw and rough around the edges. It's humans who make things into perfect, symmetrical shapes.

But this perfect rectangle iceberg is totally real, no Photoshop required.

The tabular iceberg, as they're called because they're flat like tables, was found by NASA doing a routine flyover of the Antarctica area. CNN reported that NASA is keeping tabs on ice levels and glaciers to track important changes.

It was just happenstance that the plane came across this flat iceberg with perfect right angles.


"I thought it was pretty interesting; I often see icebergs with relatively straight edges, but I've not really seen one before with two corners at such right angles like this one had," scientist Jeremy Harbeck said in a NASA press release. "[It was] fairly photogenic, so on a lark, I just took a couple photos."

"Fairly photogenic" is an understatement. We're pretty sure a photo of something this symmetrical just solved all the world's problems.

OK, no, but it is very pleasing to look at.

NatGeo reported that it's not out of the ordinary to find an iceberg like this in Antarctica. It likely came from an ice shelf, which are already very flat — and already full of cracks. When ice breaks off, it follows the fissures that already exist, helping it break off in those straight lines.

CNN reported that the structure of snow crystals also breaks down in angular ways, helping to create these lines. Forbes likened it to minerals like calcite and pyrite, which grow and break in very exact angles.

Here's a block of calcite in its natural form.

Wikimedia Commons/Tiia Monto

And here's what pyrite can look like in its natural state.

Wikimedia Commons/CarlesMillan

Eventually the water and wind will wear away at this 130-foot-tall, mile-long rectangle of ice and it will begin to resemble all the rougher bergs around it.

But at least we'll always have this picture. Proof that nature can produce perfection all on its own.

Here it is one more time, because why not? Ah, how it soothes us.

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