An iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Like bees, icebergs sometimes roam in swarms. Unlike bees, icebergs can sink ships.
It’s with that threat in mind that shipping companies are now avoiding parts of the North Atlantic, where an unusually large swarm of icebergs is making life miserable for captains on the high seas.
Around 450 icebergs — defined as hunks of ice covering at least 5,382 square feet and between 98-164 feet in thickness — are lurking off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, well above the average of 80 usually found for this time of year. The swarm appeared suddenly, too. Just last week, there were only 37 icebergs in the region.
The highest concentration of rogue ice is off the southeast tip of Newfoundland. The Titanic sunk after striking an iceberg just to the south of that area, so dangerous ice isn’t exactly abnormal for the region.
The early start to iceberg season is, however. According to the Associated Press, the number of icebergs currently in the water is more in line with what the Coast Guard expects to see in May or June. As a result, ships are having to slow down or travel hundreds of miles out of their way to avoid suffering the same fate as