Nasa photographs rectangular iceberg

Perfectly cubic pyrite crystals on marlstone. Image credits Carles Millan

A big crack in Antarctica's crumbling Larsen C ice shelf caused the huge iceberg to break free in July 2017.

It looks so ideal that it seems Photoshopped - but a odd perfectly rectangular iceberg near Antarctica is a natural phenomenon, NASA scientists say.

The iceberg's unique geometric shape sparked considerable debate on social media that it was formed by - you guessed it - space aliens.

Snapped by NASA's ICE mission, as part of Operation IceBridge, the giant tabular iceberg borne of the Larsen C ice shelf looks as though it was neatly cut from the wider ice shelf using a giant band saw.

It studies yearly changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets.

NASA also shared a picture of a perfectly triangular block of ice found nearby and taken on the same trip, Operation Icebridge.

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NASA's department of Cryospheric Sciences, known as NASA ICE, discovered the tabular iceberg during a recent flyover of the Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula.

It's described as a "tabular iceberg" - with steep sides and a flat top, typically formed by "snapping off" from an ice shelf, experts say.

"What makes this one a bit unusual is that it looks nearly like a square", she added in an interview to Live Science.

"We get two types of icebergs: We get the type that everyone can envision in their head that sank the Titanic, and they look like prisms or triangles at the surface and you know they have a insane subsurface", Brunt said.

As for the size of the iceberg NASA photographed, Brunt said it's possibly more than a mile across - but it hasn't been measured yet.

'This clockwise drift of ocean waters and sea ice flowing north past the Larsen shelf, which can be seen in the animation as a flow from right to left, has rotated A68 out into the Weddell Sea.

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