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The Elephant Foot Glacier in northeastern Greenland, looks like a bowl of batter that has been poured over a pan. The sheer pressure of the zillion-ton ice has broken through the mountain and spilled into the sea in a near symmetric, fan-shaped lobe. Such glaciers are known as piedmont glaciers, and the Elephant Foot Glacier is a perfect example of it. Its shape is so distinct that it stands out dramatically from its surroundings when viewed from high above.

Glaciers are one of the most extraordinary of the earth’s natural phenomena. These rivers of frozen snow accumulated over centuries of precipitation are so densely packed that it exceeds its overall ablation. They are in a constant state of flux, flowing down in the direction of the slope towards a valley or a water body. You can’t really tell if it’s moving but come back in a few decades and you will be able to see the dramatic change in the landscape.

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Photo credit: unknown

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