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Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Only 1/7 to 1/8 of an iceberg can be seen above water. The rest is hidden below the surface. This does not necessarily mean that the ice underneath the water is six or seven times deeper - it is six or seven times greater in mass.

Icebergs are therefore a great danger to ships, and there have been many collisions over the years.

Therefore the phrase "tip of an iceberg" is used to indicate that one may only be seeing a part of the whole picture.

But although the picture above accurately represents the amount of an iceberg that is hidden underwater, it is not a real picture. The maximum visibility underwater is about 200 feet / 60 meters, so you could never see the underside of a large iceberg in one shot - and where does all the light come from at that depth?

This is a digital composite by Ralph Clevenger, a nature and underwater photographer, who used four separate images: the sky, the background, the top iceberg (shot in Antarctica), and the underwater iceberg (shot above water in Alaska and flipped upside down).

MORE...
Click pictures for more information and credits.
Library: Icebergs, Glaciers, Ice, Arctic
Links: Icebergs, Glaciers, Arctic
News Story: "Is This Real?"
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports
Iceberg Map (North Atlantic Icebergs)


Double-click any unlinked word DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
Arctic Library ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
All sorts of Arctic Maps ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
Links to related sites. ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

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