A rare sighting of an upside-down iceberg has been captured on camera by filmmaker Alex Cornell, revealing a striking deep blue underbelly that once resided beneath Antarctica’s frigid waters.

The vitreous blue-green gleam is the handiwork of decades of pressure that squeezed out the tiny air pockets that buffer the crystals. Ice that dense absorbs bits of red light, reflecting the blue frequencies.

Underwater microorganisms and minerals frozen within burnish its greenish tint. The part of the iceberg we normally think about, the part that typically pokes above the sea, is frosted over with layer upon layer of relatively less-densely packed snow.

Capsized icebergs are still uncommon enough that when Cornell first encountered the glassy blue berg—as his ship explored Cierva Cove, along the tail-like end of Antarctica that flicks up toward Cape Horn—he couldn’t tell what he was looking at.

More insane shots can be found here.

 

 

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