We don’t need reminding of the beauty and power of glaciers and their floating companions, the icebergs. Even the smallest iceberg can be immense and cause havoc, as we all know with regards to the Titanic disaster.
Both glaciers and icebergs are essentially made of the same material: water. Glaciers gather particles and sediment during their journey, but otherwise there isn’t anything else but frozen ice – some of the purest water on the planet.
In fact, glaciers and icebergs are the largest source of freshwater on earth, and only second to the world’s saltwater oceans in terms of volume of water.
You might be wondering, though, why many glaciers and icebergs are blue, instead of white or clear? The answer lies in how glacial ice is formed. The weight of a glacier is immense, and over thousands of years the water has warmed and cooled and compacted together, pushing every drop of water closer and closer together.
The thing to remember is that the white you see from the ice and snow is not actually white – it’s made up of a combination of colors. That’s what you are seeing when you see a rainbow.
Glacial ice has been compacted so tightly that you don’t actually see some of the colors of the rainbow anymore. The blue color is a high energy color and manages to still reflect back to us even though the other colors are filtered out that would normally appear white.
Given the power and beauty of this raw feat of nature, it is no surprise that glaciers are huge tourist attractions. New Zealand, Argentina, Alaska and several other regions are a huge focus for scientific research as well as tourist exploration of this great creation of Mother Nature.