The waters off the southern coast of New Zealand have gotten very crowded lately, as dozens of icebergs have been spotted floating through the region. According to this story from the Daily Mail, the huge slabs of ice have broken off from the Antarctic shelf, and have been flowing north, into the Pacific Ocean, with increasing frequency. In the process, they have become popular tourist attractions, with curious travelers hoping to catch a glimpse of the white walls of ice.
According to the story, icebergs had been traditionally rare in and around New Zealand. In fact, prior to 2006, they hadn’t been seen there since 1931. But in the past few years, they’ve been showing up in large numbers, thanks to global warming causing more dramatic melting in Antarctica.
The exact number of icebergs off the Kiwi coast at the moment is unknown, but they do number in the hundreds. Many of those are quite massive in size. Earlier this week, one was spotted that measured 150 meters in length, while another was estimated to be over 30 meters in height. They are traveling north at a speed of about 16 miles per day, and could be potentially dangerous to shipping traffic, although ocean currents are expected to carry them east, harmlessly out into the ocean.
Meanwhile, the massive chunks of ice are expected to generate lots of interests amongst New Zealanders and visitors from abroad alike, with many taking to the high seas to get an up close and personal look at these gigantic invaders. Over the next few weeks, the icebergs will be another great, natural attraction in a country that seems to have an abundance of them.