Until recently, the world’s largest glacier, the A68, no longer had that status.
The A68 covered an area of approximately 6,000 square kilometers when it separated from Antarctica in 2017 and was the size of Wales.
But now satellite imagery shows that the massive glacier is no more, that is, it has been broken into smaller parts that the US National Ice Data Center says are no longer worth tracking.
The A68 broke away from the Larson ice sheet on the edge of the Antarctic Peninsula and remained mostly idle for a year, but then began to sail north and accelerate due to strong currents and winds.
Weighing a billion tonnes, the glacier was heading for South Georgia, a British island nation in the South Atlantic, where most of it melted.
This glacier was “swallowed up by the warm waters and rising temperatures of the Atlantic, and then torn to pieces.
“It is amazing that the A68 lasted so long. “It shattered into four or five parts, and then those parts shattered into smaller pieces,” said Adrian Luckman of Swansea University.
The A68 will be best remembered as the first glacier to become a “star” on social media because people around the world shared satellite images of it.