The sound of an iceberg cracking

The university of Washington has put together this audio recording of a giant, 76 mile long by 17 mile wide iceberg cracking apart. So you can actually hear it, it’s been compressed by a factor of about 200, to render an audio file about 2 minutes long.

The location was close to Antarctica’s Cape Adare, where it hit an underwater shoal. It broke into a number of large chunks in about 5 hours.

The wind-like, whistling sounds are the harmonics created as the iceberg sticks and slips over the shoal. Listen as the cracking sounds build – that’s probably fractures propagating through the iceberg like an ice cube fracturing when put in a glass of water – and then a sharp shot. The eerie moaning sounds are probably from the resulting pieces of ice rubbing against each other.

It’s actually pretty interesting to hear – you get this huge feeling of anticipation until it finally breaks apart. It was recorded 700 miles away, at the South Pole. Listen to the audio for yourself:

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