Every year hundreds of massive icebergs can be found drifting through Iceberg Alley.
Located in the Atlantic Ocean, Iceberg Alley stretches from the Arctic to Newfoundland, an island in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. When it comes to seeing icebergs, iceberg alley is one of the best places in the world.
Most of the glaciers and icebergs that travel down the alley are from Greenland's coast. During the spring and summer, large chunks of glaciers break away to become icebergs in water travelling down Iceberg alley. Some of the icebergs also come from the grand banks of Canada. The huge chunks of ice that are found in Iceberg alley are more than 10 000 years old. Every year, it's estimated that four to eight hundred of the world's icebergs float down Iceberg alley.
Iceberg ally can be admired from both land and sea and we're sure you'll be itching to go to Iceberg Alley in Newfoundland, Canada after reading this great list.
Scientific Iceberg Facts
We've got you set with all the best scientific iceberg information you need to know to start you on your iceberg journey. From the biggest icebergs to the basic facts you need to know.
1. Icebergs are pieces of ice that float freely through water after breaking off from glaciers.
2. To be an iceberg, they must be at least 16ft above sea level, be thicker than 98ft and cover more than 5,300ft.
3. There are six types of icebergs. Tabulars are flat icebergs, wedges have one steep side and one sloped side, domed icebergs are round at the top, dry docks are shaped like the letter 'u', pinnacles have spires coming from the top of the iceberg and blocky icebergs have very steep and clear-cut sides.
4. Every type of iceberg travels through Iceberg Alley.
5. Smaller pieces of ice are called 'bergy bits' and 'growlers'.
6. One of the most dangerous icebergs in the world is the Thwaites glacier which is the size of Florida!
7. In Iceberg Alley, icebergs travel at an average of 0.4 miles per hour.
8. The lifespan of an iceberg from the first drop of snow on a glacier all the way to melting is roughly 3000 years.
9. Only about 10 percent of icebergs can be seen above water. That's where the saying 'tip of the iceberg' comes from!
10. The largest iceberg ever was bigger than the whole of Jamaica. This iceberg was called iceberg B-15 and it was a crazy 183 miles long and 23 miles wide!
11. Icebergs can have distinct colors, caves, tunnels and sometimes animals even get trapped inside them! So keep an eye out for all of these cool features.
12. Birds often rest on top of icebergs. If you see one suddenly fly away, it might mean that the arctic iceberg is starting to collapse.
13. The largest iceberg in the Arctic ocean today came from Greenland's Petermann Glacier and started as a 97 square mile iceberg.
14. There are roughly 15,000 to 30,000 icebergs in the Arctic Ocean that break off from Greenland every year.
15. Icebergs become very dangerous as they move south because the warmer waters make them melt faster.
16. Icebergs get their streaks from meltwater that fills gaps in glaciers and create clear and bubble-free ice. These end up looking blue because of how pure ice scatters light. If there are brown or black streaks on an iceberg, this can be from volcanic dust getting trapped inside but this is very uncommon.
Geographic Facts About Iceberg Alley
Here's our list of the coolest geographic Iceberg Alley facts (no pun intended) that are sure to make you want to pack up and head straight for the island of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada.
17. Iceberg Alley is located along the coast of Labrador and stretches up to the south-east coast of Newfoundland, where icebergs come from a stream all the way from the Atlantic Ocean.
18. Iceberg Alley can be seen from the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, which is the most northern part of Canada and one of the best places to see bergs in the world.
19. Some of the best spots for viewing these ice islands are St. Lewis, St. John, Bulls Bay, Red Bay, Change Islands, Witless Bay, Cape Spear, Fogo Island, Battle Harbour and Point Amour.
20. 90 percent of the icebergs that travel through Iceberg Alley break off the coast of Greenland during summer and spring.
21. 10 percent of the icebergs come from the Glacerion Islands in the Canadian Arctic.
22. Iceberg seasons are longer the further north you go, so you have a better chance of seeing them.
23. The icebergs eventually melt after the currents take them out to Baffin Bay and the Labrador Sea.
24. Roughly 400 to 800 icebergs travel along Iceberg Alley every single year!
25. Most icebergs can be seen during between March and July. Even though most icebergs break off glaciers during April and May, they can get stuck in winter ice, so your best bet is late May and June.
26. Icebergs are tracked by the International Ice Patrol using planes, satellites and radars so we don't have a repeat of the Titanic! But sometimes, ships still collide with icebergs.
Historical Facts About Iceberg Alley
Iceberg Alley has had quite an interesting history, with a few crazy events that might sound familiar to you!
27. Iceberg Alley has been carrying bergs for roughly 10,000 years!
28. The icebergs that travel through Iceberg Alley are thousands and thousands of years old.
29. In April 1912 Iceberg Alley is where the famous Titanic tragically hit an iceberg before sinking, where 1500 people were killed.
30.The most famous iceberg is the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. It was called the North Atlantic iceberg and was thought to be 100ft high and 400ft long, but we'll never know for sure. The iceberg was so strong that it ripped open the front of the ship and it only took two hours and forty minutes for it to sink.
The Craziest Facts About Iceberg Alley
31. Right now the A-68a iceberg is stuck in Iceberg Alley and is headed straight for South Georgia! This iceberg is an Antarctic ice giant and is a big threat to the penguins, seals and fish that live there. This iceberg has been at sea for over three years and is 94 miles long and 30 miles wide.
32. Most of Newfoundland and Labrador's tourism comes from the icebergs that travel through Iceberg Alley. Thousands of tourists come every year with their cameras ready to see whatever amazing icebergs are headed their way. The people of Newfoundland and Labrador are also known to be very friendly people.
33. You can take a tour boat or a kayak out to see the icebergs up close!
34. Icebergs are so unpredictable it's important to stay far away from them, with a distance that is at least the length of the iceberg or double its height, or whichever one is longer.
35. Whales and birds travel at a similar time to the icebergs in Iceberg Alley. Icebergs come down from the north while and bird and whales come up from the south. So, if you are very lucky you can see all three at once!
36. Icebergs can get grounded when they get trapped in shallow water. So, the home of Iceberg Alley, Newfoundland and Labrador, sometimes have special large icebergs that stop and stay for a while.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for the coolest Iceberg Alley facts then why not take a look at some more facts about places around the world, like these Chichen Itza facts or these Mexico City facts.
Hannah is a lover of all things fitness, she is a qualified personal trainer and is currently training to be a yoga instructor. She is also knowledgeable about mindfulness and meditation and is passionate about helping people find their best selves. Hannah has travelled extensively and has spent the last four years working and living in many different countries across Asia and the Americas and loves writing about her travels. At any moment you might catch her running for a plane or a PB!