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Where Is That Giant Iceberg Headed?

January 8, 2021

The story of the Titanic is legendary—an iceberg hit the impressive ship traveling to America, forcing passengers into the frigid Atlantic Ocean. Fortunately, scientists are now able to track the path of an iceberg before it hits. But can they stop it? Not always. We’re talking icebergs because the biggest iceberg in the world, called the A68a, is coming down to the shores of South Georgia in Eastern Europe. But if you’re imagining a giant iceberg crashing into a city, that’s not exactly what would happen. If the iceberg were to continue on its course, it could anchor itself on the shores of the country, probably out of harm’s way for people, but definitely impacting the marine life around it.

Iceberg A68a via British Royal Air Force

The region isn’t new to icebergs. In fact, it’s been known as the graveyard for Antarctica’s icebergs. Ocean currents often push giant icebergs toward the region, but the sheer size of this iceberg has everyone sitting up and taking notice. The iceberg weighs hundreds of billions of tons and the biggest concern is for the penguins in the region. Not only could the docked iceberg interrupt access to food for their young, but it could also kill other marine life as it settles into the new location. A previous iceberg (known as A38) already killed countless penguin chicks and seal pups in 2004. But as with all news reports, there’s more than one side to the story. On the flip side, icebergs bring along dust that could actually fertilize the plankton, providing more fodder for fish at the bottom of the food chain.