Though they look solid and still, gigantic compressed masses of ice called glaciers flow, constantly moving like rivers. In this Secret Life of Ice clip, we see their awe-inspiring shifting with help from a time-lapse camera.
Science writer Dr. Gabrielle Walker ventures down into a glacier crevasse to see where the ice meets the ground. There the meltwater is dripping and seeping from the ice walls, lubricating the glacial mass. She explains:
“That melting water also makes this cave, and other caves like it probably all around. And I’ll bet this cave wasn’t here last year and it probably won’t be here next. It’s transient. It’s part of the signs that the glacier is dynamic and moving and changing all the time.”
Go deeper into the science with two It’s Okay to Be Smart videos: Go inside an ice cave to see nature’s most beautiful blue and How Do Glaciers Move? Plus: Water in Helheim Glacier Makes Its Way to the Ocean.
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