Photo via New Zeal
Ships passing through the southern Pacific Ocean have been issued a warming: beware of hundreds of massive icebergs. Seems that they've broken off of an Antarctic ice floe and are now drifting towards New Zealand. Pics after the jump.Scientists have counted over 100 icebergs drifting north to New Zealand. It's a rare event--according to the BBC, the last time such a huge flotilla was amassed was in 2006. Before that, the last record incident of this magnitude was in 1931. Quick, who wants to guess what might be responsible?
There's no major cause for concern, since the waters in which the icebergs are flowing in aren't a major shipping lane, and few boats tread there. And though they're en route to New Zealand, it's doubtful that they'll make it all the way. But they would be a sight to see--some of them have been determined to be over 30 ft high and 650 ft long. Even so, as the BBC reports, "scientists have said they believe these segments will break up long before reaching the New Zealand coastline."
The errant iceberg photographed on the run, by MSNBC
A New Zealand glaciologist first spotted the icebergs-on-the-move on satellite photography, and found the closest one was some 160 miles south of the nation. But reports of a similar large grouping of icebergs had come in earlier in the month, from Australia:
the Australian government organisation reported larger icebergs were seen floating off Tasmania's Macquarie Island territory. It is believed this particular flotilla stems from those giant chunks - one which was estimated to be double the size of Beijing's "Bird's Nest" Olympic Stadium. A number of scientists say they believe the icebergs originally broke away from the Ross Sea Ice Shelf in 2000 and have been drifting and slowly breaking apart since then, reports say.
So, if you were planning on taking your yacht south of New Zealand this month, I'd have to heartily recommend against it.