If you’ve ever thought of glaciers as simple blocks of ice that have no relevance to our daily lives then you are probably like the vast majority of people around the world. However, the truth is that glaciers are more important than that. They are barometers that measure the health of our environment. Here are a few more fascinating facts about these massive bodies of ice and snow
- Fact 1. The two main types of glacier are Alpine and Continental: Alpine glaciers flow downward from mountaintops into and through valleys. In contrast, Continental glaciers are formed from large horizontal sheets. They are not affected by topographical features such as mountaintops or valleys.
- Fact 2. The largest glacier on earth is 95 kilometers wide and around 434 kilometers long: This behemoth is located in Antarctica and was discovered in the late 1950s by Australian, Bruce P. Lambert.
- Fact 3. Glaciers supply us with an estimated 69% of the world’s fresh water supply: For a planet that is 71% water, little of that is fresh, drinkable water. Lakes, rivers, swamps, and similar bodies can only claim less than 1% percent drinkable water.
- Fact 4. There are 10 thousand glaciers in Alaska alone: Glaciers cover about 28,000 square miles of our state.
- Fact 5. Glaciers are mostly found at the Poles: A whopping 99% of all glacial ice is located in the Arctic and in Antarctica. However, Greenland, Chili and other places contain these massive blocks/sheets of ice and snow.
- Fact 6. They appear to be blue for reason: The reason that glaciers appear to be blue is that they filter and absorb red and yellow light but reflect blue light. This is why they can appear to be even darker shades of blue contrasting with whiter segments of the landscape.
- Fact 7. A 5300-year-old mummy named Otzi was found inside a glacier by hikers: Otzi is thought to have descendants who survive to this very day.
- Fact 8. Glaciers are indicators of the health of our planet: Sincethe early twentieth century, with few exceptions, glaciers around the world have been receding at unprecedented rates. This is one of the strongest proofs of climate change.
There you have it. Those are just a few fascinating facts about glaciers. We should not take these blocks and ice for granted as they have been around for millions of years and are very important parts of our planet’s topography. You can get a firsthand look at these structures when you join us on one of our Alaskan bound adventures. Adventure bound Alaska takes you on a tour of breathtaking ice mountains, crevices and sheer rock walls that are bound to increase your appreciation of these massive structures.