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Eye-Popping Icebergs and Where to See Them
// By Lydia Schrandt
Photo courtesy of Magnus Elander - Visit Greenland
Greenland is one of the best places in the Northern Hemisphere to spot icebergs, and you can see them by boat, helicopter, dogsled or on foot. The ice fjord at Ilulissat contains the most productive glacier north of the equator, a glacier that deposits some 100 million tons of ice into the sea each day. Want to see what they look like from below the surface? Give arctic diving a try!
The waters of the Southern Hemisphere near Antarctica are a hotbed of iceberg activity. When these iron-rich ice deposits fall into the Southern Ocean, they "fertilize" the water and stimulate phytoplankton to recycle more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
In Alaska, Glacier Bay National Park is the best place for some ice viewing, thanks to 12 glaciers that actively calve icebergs into the water. It's pretty exhilarating to see a 200-foot tall chunk of ice crash into the bay, though you should probably keep your distance!
Photo courtesy of www.iceland.is
It should come as no surprise that Iceland has its fair share if icebergs. In Jokulsarlon, the largest glacial lake in the country, In the summer months, visitors can take boat rides through the floating icebergs, and in the winter, there's something magical about seeing the Northern Lights reflect off the ice-dotted lagoon.
Photo courtesy of McKay Savage
In Argentina's Laguna Sucia, you can watch icebergs as they're birthed from their mother glacier. The Argentinian portion of Patagonia is home to Los Glaciares National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site where you'll find the largest ice cap outside of Greenland and Antarctica.
Photo courtesy of Peter Pawlowski
The largest iceberg ever recorded was in Antarctica, measuring more than 12,000 square miles. That's larger than Belgium! Besides their beautiful colors, Antarctic icebergs sometimes become penguin playgrounds. Many cruise itineraries to the region include kayaking excursions through these floating ice cubes.
Photo courtesy of Newfoundland and Labrador
In Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador are known for their icebergs, particularly along "Iceberg Alley" on the Atlantic coast. From late spring to early summer, you can watch these interesting ice formations pass you by along the St. Anthony fishing pier. Travel to the northeast coast, and you may get lucky enough to spot whales swimming past the bergs during their northern migration.
Photo courtesy of Jeff McNeill
Sometimes, particularly in the Antarctic region, you'll see icebergs with interesting stripes and color patterns. Blue stripes, like those pictured here, occur when melt water seeps into crevices of an ice sheet and freezes before any bubbles can form. You can sometimes see green, brown, black or yellow stripes as well.
Photo courtesy of Leonora Enking
Most visitors come to Torres del Paine in Patagonia to see the dramatic snow-capped mountains, but the are is also home to an ice sheet the size of Hawaii. You'll find rivers and lakes teeming with bergs, especially at the Lago Grey glacier along the Southern Patagonia Ice Field.
Photo courtesy of Travel Manitoba
On the coastline of Churchill in Manitoba, Canada, low tides during the spring months leave giant icebergs beached on the shore. Since only the very tops of icebergs show above water when they're floating, you can only see just how big an iceberg is when it's beached.