An enormous chunk of ice bigger than Rhode Island has broken off an Antarctic ice shelf, according to the European Space Agency. The floating mass covers more than 1,600 square miles, making it the largest iceberg in the world, agency officials said.
The iceberg, dubbed A-76, calved off the Ronne Ice Shelf into the Weddell Sea. The European Space Agency’s twin Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites spotted the giant slab of ice breaking away on May 13.
The U.S. National Ice Center — which is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Navy and the Coast Guard — confirmed the calving event the following day and recorded the position of A-76 in the Weddell Sea.
“Iceberg A-76 calves from the western side of the Ronne Ice Shelf in the Weddell Sea and is currently the largest iceberg in the world,” the organization tweeted Friday.
The finger-shaped iceberg is roughly 105 miles long and 15 miles wide, according to the European Space Agency. Its total area is more than 70 times that of Manhattan, New York.