Amazing footage showing enormous chunks of ice breaking off from a glacier and crashing into the surrounding ocean has gone viral online. The video clip went viral after it was posted to YouTube on November 3, 2015, by Dan Olsen, who filmed it during a trip to Iceland with his wife.
Olsen shot the stunning clip, which shows huge chunks of ice breaking off from the parent glacier while visiting the Svinafellsjokull (Svína-fells-jökull/Snæfellsjökull) Glacier in Iceland, a popular tourist attraction featured in the Game of Thrones series.
Olsen said he was fortunate to witness the event, a process called ice or glacier calving. He and his wife were away from their group when they heard the noise of the iceberg breaking up.
He shot the video of the glacier calving at the western edge of the Svína-fells-jökull (Pig-mountain-glacier) with an iPhone 6 shortly after the process commenced. He stood as close as physically possible, “without being crushed or washed away,” to capture the stunning scene.
The video shows a large piece of ice breaking away slowly and sinking, shedding its debris and finally rolling over to reveal a bright blue underside.
RT reports that Olsen said, “Everybody else says, ‘I would have run in the other direction,’ but I felt that we were up high enough not to worry about it but literally the ledge was vibrating and shaking.”
Despite the apparent danger, Olsen and his wife were able to film the moment that the iceberg began breaking away until the end, where viewers are treated to the stunning sight of the ice rolling over to reveal a blue underbelly.
Olsen said the video understates the grandeur of the event as seen in real life.
He said, “That piece that breaks off is probably the size of four houses put together.”
“Wait for the blue iceberg in the background to rise up and then roll over at the end.”
The footage is wowing nature-lovers on YouTube, particularly the final part of the calving process, where the glacier flips over and reveals a bright blue underside before sinking and merging with the surrounding ocean.
“Wow! Just wow! I could watch this for hours.”
“Wow! this is just amazing. Thanks for sharing this video with us.”
“Thank you for this wonderful experience Olen Adventures this was a unique experience.”
“The destruction of our planet, here for all to see.”
Although, the video title identifies the black substance covering the iceberg as “volcanic ash,” Halfdan Ingolfsson, a YouTube user, commented that the “dirt” on the ice is not volcanic lava but gravel “rubbed off” from the mountainside by the moving glacier.
“This is taken at the western edge of the Svína-fells-jökull (Pig-mountain-glacier). The ‘dirt’ in the ice is not really lava, just gravel rubbed off the mountainside by the glacier. In Iceland this type of glacier is called Skrið-jökull (Crawling-glacier).”
Despite the excitement over the majestic sights of the glacier calving in-process, many environmentally conscious viewers would rather have more attention given to the evidence they provide of global warming in progress.
A video emerged online in December 2012 giving a dramatic demonstration of the effects of global warming in the process of iceberg calving. The feature-length documentary, Chasing Ice, shot by award-winning nature photographer James Balog, included footage recognized by the 2016 Guinness Book of World Record as the largest glacier calving event ever captured on film.
The breaking up of the Ilulissat Glacier — 3,000 feet in height — in Western Greenland was filmed on May 28, 2008, by Adam LeWinter and Jeff Orlowsky. The calving lasted about 75 minutes across a calving face estimated at three miles wide (see video above).
[Image via Olsen Adventures/YouTube]