Atlas Obscura is organizing trips! Join us on an adventure »

Just How Big Is Antarctica’s Newly Broken-Off Iceberg?

Very, very big.

The rift in the Larsen C ice shelf.
The rift in the Larsen C ice shelf. NASA

The iceberg that has been threatening to break from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf has finally made its move. lt is now officially one of the largest icebergs ever recorded—more than 120 miles long, 1,100 feet thick, 2,240 square miles in area, and 230 cubic miles in volume.

Just how big is that? Reporters around the world are figuring out comparisons for an object this large for their readers. It is …

The iceberg also contains “almost four times as much ice as the fast melting island of Greenland loses in a year,” according to the Washington Post.

What else? The iceberg is …

  • About the same length as the drive from St. Louis, Missouri, to Columbia, Missouri, in the middle of the state,
  • The same height as the Wilshire Grand Center in Los Angeles, or two of the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, the High Roller in Las Vegas,
  • About 0.015 percent of the moon’s surface,
  • The size of 26.5 million curling sheets, the playing surface for the sport of curling,
  • The height of 85 elephants stacked on top of one another,
  • The same volume as 2,242 trillion pints of ice cream,
  • The size of 2.4 million White Houses.

And it would take approximately 1.34 trillion years for a normal refrigerator to create that much ice.

The iceberg is, by any measure, very large. It will be around for a good while, as it drifts slowly into the sea, breaks up, sings, and melts away.