Over the weekend, a group of tourists in Iceland got the fright of their lives.
In some fairly dramatic video, the group sees a giant piece of a glacier break off and fall into the water. The ice falling in creates a massive wave heading right towards the group.
WATCH: A glacier calves in Iceland, triggering a large wave that surged toward a group of tourists. pic.twitter.com/9C8S6JBRYN
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 2, 2019
A sense of scale may help with context for the video.
Enormous wave, lol, somebody needs to get out more.
— Bigfoot (@realbigfootpete) April 2, 2019
Seen bigger waves on Scarborough beach at low tide
— paul stanton (@minsteraerials) April 2, 2019
You too might be questioning how big that wave is.
The little creatures scampering out of the way at the bottom of the film are humans https://t.co/7fTKLX1tjP
— ZeeZee (@ZeeZee_JAM) April 2, 2019
It’s not like that process would lead to a small reaction. In the video you can hear the loud crack of the ice before the shelf just completely drops off.
This is a process known as calving. While it’s not an uncommon process, it is rare to get such a large one on video.
People online were quick to blame climate change.
So depressing the future ? 🌎🌏🌍🙄😢💔
— Giancarlo Luzzini (@GiancarloLuzzi1) April 2, 2019
Anyone knows why glacier fall ?
— momomortez (@momortez) April 1, 2019
— Enviro Voter Project (@Enviro_Voter) April 2, 2019
However, climate change is not the culprit here. Or at least, less of a culprit. Glacial calving occurs when the glacier expands, melting partially because of the water and buoyant forces break the ice sheet off the rest of the glacier.
The calving is somewhat predictable, though less reliable than other natural phenomena.
Luckily the group in the above video had a mountain guide who led them to safety.
He said to ITV,
“This was an extraordinarily large calving and much closer to the shore than usual, which is why it was such a close call.”
And with no one injured, it’s fair game for jokes.
so tired of all this Brexit coverage
— Eric Christenson (@EricChristenso3) April 1, 2019
Run forest! pic.twitter.com/y2ccHvcul5
— tishy (@Tishywoowoo) April 2, 2019
"Honey, did you pack my brown pants?"
— Michael (@sonofray) April 2, 2019
At least they have the highground, so the wave can't win
— Jan Clever welcomes our crustacean overlords (@Imstoppaple) April 2, 2019