Photographer Points His Camera At Glacier And Seconds Later He Captures The Impossible
In western Greenland, Adam LeWinter and Jeff Orlowski were part of a team that had cameras set up for glacier watching as part of the film crew for Orlowski's documentary, Chasing Ice. It was May 2008, and their cameras were filming the Ilulissat Glacier. They had been at this glacier watching event for days. As it happened, this team was in the right place at the right time to record an astounding marvel of nature — their cameras filmed the largest glacier calving ever caught on video.
For a glacier watching team, a day that begins uneventfully can end with something historic. Early in the day, when they had checked in with other team members by phone, there wasn't much to report, other than some wind and the fact that the cameras were continuously filming, as you'll see in the video.
But as the day went on, things got incredibly exciting. Perched on the side of a mountain facing Greenland's Ilulissat Glacier, LeWinter and Orlowski witnessed — and filmed — a glacier calving event that will go down in history as the largest one ever filmed. Glacier calving results in the formation of new icebergs, because giant sections of ice break away from a glacier's edge.
During a period of 75 minutes, as reported by Guiness World Records, the Ilulissat Glacier calved chunks of ice that reduced the size of the glacier by an area of three miles wide and one mile across. As if that's not enough, the glacier and its resulting icebergs reach a height of about 3,000 feet, most of which is underwater.
Looking at the footage of the glacier calving, an observer would see the snow-covered ice cracking and shifting, giving an avalanche effect. The sounds of roaring and cracking are accompanied by the sights of rolling waves that seem to try to swallow the newly-formed icebergs. The massive scale of the icebergs has been likened to city skyscrapers in Manhattan rising and falling.
Massive icebergs bobbed hundreds of feet into the air, then sank back down, causing enormous waves in the frigid water. It's tough to realize the gigantic scale of the icebergs that seem to move effortlessly. But the glacier already stands 200 to 300 feet above the water, and some of the moving icebergs rose to heights of 600 feet before falling again.
Even all these years later, this video footage that was recorded from a mountain facing western Greenland stands as record-breaking and astounding to anyone who sees it. According to Earth Vision Institute, the video of this event was listed by the 2016 Guinness Book of World Records as the largest glacier calving ever caught on video. The footage became part of the documentary film Chasing Ice.
While most people recognize the amazing power of nature, few people have seen with their own eyes the kind of marvel that LeWinter and Orlowski saw and filmed that day in 2008. In their video footage and in the resulting film, they share with the world the awesome, terrifying, astounding, mind-boggling event that amazed the world.
When did you first hear about this incredible event? What was your reaction? Can you imagine being on that mountain, seeing this happen firsthand? Let us know your reaction — and let someone else know, too!