The Largest Iceberg Breakup Ever Caught on Camera

We’ve written about photographer James Balog’s documentary film Chasing Ice a couple of times in the past. His team spent years shooting time-lapse photographs of glaciers around the world using solar-powered Nikon DSLRs, which allows changes over a long period of time to be seen in just seconds or minutes.

One particular scene in the movie shows an epic event: the largest iceberg breakup ever caught on camera.

Here’s what the team says about the 75-minute event, which is known as ice calving:

Pieces of ice were shooting up out of the ocean 600ft and then falling. The only way that you can really try to put it into scale with human reference is if you imagine Manhattan, and all of a sudden all of those buildings just start to rumble and quake and peel off and fall over and roll around. This whole massive city just breaking part in front of your eyes.

Here’s the 4-minute clip, courtesy of The Guardian:

Since the video only shows landscapes of ice and water, it’s difficult to get a sense of the scale being depicted. The text helps give a slightly better sense, though… those moving chunks of ice are absolutely massive.

  • fast eddie

    Wow, that was pretty terrifying and amazing at the same time. Can’t wait for Chasing Ice to premiere.

  • JosephRT

    Incredible, it takes some real determination to hang in there and get shots like that but it is worth it. I’m glad someone is getting this footage because unfortunately I don’t think these ice caps will last another 50 years.

  • Leonardo Abreu

    Thats sad…

  • Dan Forsley

    Isn’t this capture more important than a celebrity meltdown? Not to most shooters.

  • John R


    All the way through I was so pleased that he held his shot, I imagine quite tricky to meter too. Thank heavens it wasn’t shot on a phone or we might have had some poxy filter applied. ( Only joking. )

  • Jhawk77

    JosephRT, search Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) spacecraft and Frederik Simons of Princeton who says the data may indicate that while ice loss may be occurring in the Arctic, the ice is growing in the Antarctic. Don’t don your swimming togs just yet!

  • Heie

    ROFL! Sweet weather sealing bag :D

    Real adventurers use Pentax :D

  • Heie

    But in all seriousness towards the crux of this article….that’s too bad…these events just expedite their melting as they float away south :(

  • Alan Dove

    That’s right, just keep telling yourself there’s no problem, and whatever you do, don’t open the sealed door on your little echo chamber. The adults out here in the real world will disregard you and try to fix it before the superstorms, rising seas, and melting ice (at both poles, by the way) completely annihilate the global economy.