Rare Imagery of Flipped Icebergs in Antarctica

Rare Imagery of Flipped Icebergs in Antarctica

While on an expedition in Antarctica, photographer Alex Cornell had the rare opportunity to photograph a recently flipped iceberg. Defining to the old adage "just the tip of the iceberg," it turns out the underside can be illuminated with unbelievable bright blues and striation that reveal visually stunning secrets of these sleeping giants. Witnessing a flip is uncommon, and moreover the surreal texture and colors distort the scale making it a truly incredible encounter.

"Antarctica is one of those places where you can point the camera in any direction and come away with something spectacular," says Cornell in a discussion with Fstoppers. "Typically icebergs are white, with blue accents near the water — this by contrast one was alien-blue. More like a galactic artifact than anything terrestrial. These shots were taken at water level from a little Zodiac cruiser. Most likely, this was a very old glacier — the blue basically being the glacial equivalent of aging white hairs."

Calving from glaciers as ice formed from freshwater, icebergs begin their journey of slow salinization floating upon surface. The salt water, much denser than fresh water, allows these massive sections of distorted shapes to float precariously until the weight distribution at the tip of the iceberg supersedes the underside. Once this balance shifts, they flip and reveal an area of beautifully polished ice worthy of incredible photography.

[via Alex Cornell]

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Jimmy Schaefer's picture


Kevin Hatcher's picture

That is cooool! :D

Josiah Moore's picture

Not having these available in larger size to use as wallpaper is nothing short of a sin! These are unreal!

Alex Cornell's picture

Thanks Josiah! I am planning to open up a little print shop later in the year -- will have higher resolutions available then for free download. Glad you liked them!

DeMarcus Allen's picture

Would love to get one of these, this is nothing short of breathtaking

Josiah Moore's picture

Wonderful! Thanks Alex!

Jason Vinson's picture

so cool!!!

Scott Mosley's picture

These are crazy!? Would love to have full-res to explore and enjoy photos more. :)

Anonymous's picture

Wow it looks like from Superman Movie

Niall Hastie's picture

Amazing pictures of something rarely seen! Very cool !

Ahmed Wasim's picture


Wayne Lennon's picture

How big would you say this is Alex? I just wish there was a little boat in there as a reference.

They look like they could be fresh off the new star wars set!

Jason Ranalli's picture

The height on iceberg in the last photo looks massive! I've see a video of one of these flip once and was incredible....and horrifying at the same time if for some reason you or your boat were close by. The mass of these thing is insane.

eusebio vestias's picture

wonderful Alex good Luck

Mark Keane's picture