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Lines in the ice: How the ‘bergs gain their stripes

a snow covered mountain

No, this isn’t photoshop. These icebergs really are crossed with all types of weird and wonderful lines.

These beautiful ‘artworks’ occur for a number of reasons, with different colours appearing due to different circumstances.

Blue stripes are the most common. These appear when crevices are filled with water that freezes so quickly that bubbles in the ice don’t have time to appear. Green lines occur when the water filled with algae is quickly frozen. The yellow, black and brown stripes occasionally seen are formed in glaciers as the moving ice sheet picks up dirt and sediment on its way to the sea.



While we’re on the subject of beautiful icebergs, here’s another fascinating example – an image of one that has recently been flipped upside down…

Photo: Alex Cornell