It’s October 16, 2018, and NASA scientists are flying a routine surveying mission. More specifically, the team are traveling across the Antarctic wastes as part of research project Operation IceBridge. Then one of the men aboard, scientific programmer Jeremy P. Harbeck, spots something highly unusual and snaps a picture of it. And the shot of the extraordinary-looking iceberg quickly spreads worldwide.
The particular iceberg that Harbeck spotted had calved from the Larsen C ice shelf; Larsen C had in turn previously broken off from the bigger Larsen Ice Shelf. And the Larsen Ice Shelf itself lies across the Antarctic Peninsula in the northwest of the Weddell Sea.
The shelf is named after Captain Carl Anton Larsen, a Norwegian who sailed his whaler along the length of the ice in 1893. Renowned as having been an intrepid explorer, Larsen is also distinguished as the first human to ever ski on the shelf.