Antarctica just shed one of the largest icebergs the world has ever seen — these size comparisons reveal how big it really is

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A 300-foot-wide, 70-mile-long rift in Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf, as seen in November 2016.
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John Sonntag/IceBridge/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

A crack in an Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf birthed one of the largest icebergs ever recorded, scientists announced Wednesday morning.

“The calving of this iceberg leaves the Larsen C Ice Shelf reduced in area by more than 12%, and the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula changed forever,”Adrian Luckman and Martin O’Leary, two glaciologists at Swansea University, wrote in a July 12 blog post for the MIDAS Project, which has been monitoring the ice.

They also said the iceberg weighs more than a trillion metric tonnes.

The following size comparisons will give you a sense of just how colossal this new iceberg is.


The iceberg weighs almost as much as 20 Titanics.

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Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

Its surface area is roughly equivalent to the state of Delaware.

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Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

It could fill Lake Erie twice.

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Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

From top to bottom, the iceberg is as thick as two Statues of Liberty.

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Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

It made up 12% of the Arctic ice shelf it used to be part of.

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Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

The project MIDAS experts said the iceberg’s future progress is difficult to predict, since its size is so exceptional.

Anna Hogg, a glaciologist at the University of Leeds, previously suggested that “ocean currents could drag it north, even as far as the Falkland Islands,” which lie more than 1,000 miles away from Antarctica.

Wherever it wanders, warmer ocean waters will eventually melt it away. Thankfully, this won’t contribute much to rising waters, since the ice “was already floating before it calved away,” Luckman said.

To learn more about Antarctica’s gigantic iceberg, read our full story about its calving.