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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

(Photo courtesy of Mike Vecchione, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service)
The above photo is a tabular iceberg calved from the ice shelf in the Weddell Sea. I borrowed the photo from a site called publicdomainclip-art. Check it out.

I'm using the photo above to illustrate a story I came across day before yesterday in a South African Online newspaper. Apparently a fishing boat in St. Francis Bay off the Eastern Cape of South Africa spotted an iceberg where an iceberg should never be. The captain and crew of the vessel said they turned around and got closer because they couldn't believe their eyes, at which time they said they were sure it was an iceberg about 25 meters and 20 meters high.

No other sightings have been made of this mysterious iceberg and as such the weather service and the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) are downplaying the report. They have, however, issued an alert to all vessels transiting the area.

A spokesman for the NSRI has issued a statement saying, essentially, that it is highly unlikely this thing was an iceberg. The question then becomes, what was it?

Commercial fishermen are generally not in the habit of drawing attention to themselves by falsifying reports or playing practical jokes on the authorities.


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