A glacier is a big persistent body of ice.Glaciers form only on land and should not be compared with icebergs that are massive bodies of ice that float on water. Glaciers and icebergs together hold the majority of Earth’s fresh waters. Here’s a list from the most incredible and famous glaciers in the world:
1. Baltoro Glacier, Pakistan
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At 38.5 miles long, this remote glacier is one of the longest glaciers in the world. It is also one of the most beautiful, from its spectacular birthplace in Concordia, at the base of K-2, the glacier ripples and slithers past some of the tallest mountain peaks in the world. While it is indeed remote, it is a favorite approach for mountaineers aiming to climbing the treacherous K-2 peak.
2. Hubbard Glacier, Alaska, USA
Hubbard Glacier is the longest tidewater glacier in Alaska extending 76 miles from its source on Mt. Logan in the Yukon. Visitors usually arrive from the ocean and bear witness to an awe-inspiring wall of ice, almost 6 miles wide. Where the glacier meets Disenchantment Bay it is quite common to see the thundering force of nature that is ‘glacier calving’ (huge blocks of ice falling off the glacier and into the ocean).
3. Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland
Europe’s largest glacier allows visitors to explore the stunning Glacier Lagoon by kayak, scale the flanks of Mt. Kristínartindar, explore ice caves, and behold the awesome natural beauty and diversity of Iceland. Vast fields of black sand and deep fissures in the glacier are reminders of the volcanic activity underneath the glacier.
4. Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
Perito Moreno Glacier, located in Argentina’s Patagonia, is a prime location to see the detachment of ice blocks of different sizes from a short distance, hear the roaring they produce, and then watch them turned into floating icebergs in Lake Argentina. The 3mi wide, and 200ft tall face of the glacier, and the towering mountains in the background are easily accessible and viewed from excellent viewing platforms all around the lake.
5. Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland
The largest glacier in the Alps is globally recognized as one of the most spectacular Alpine regions to visit. The Aletsch Glacier travels downward the southern side of Jungfrau into the Upper Rhone Valley, and numerous paths along the glacier provides excellent views of this moving giant as well as the rugged peaks surrounding it. The whole area, including other glaciers are part of the Jungfrau-Aletsch Protected Area, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001.
6. Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
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Twin glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef, offers spectacular views of New Zealand’s two highest mountains Mt. Cook and Mt. Tasman and the lowland rainforest of Westland National Park and Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. In addition to being scenic, this is the place for adrenaline-pumping activities, including; kayaking, mountaineering, adventurous treks, and flights across the mighty glaciers.
7. Pasterze Glacier, Austria
The Pasterze Glacier flows from Austria’s highest point and is easily accessible in the summer from the scenic Grossglockner High Alpine Road. While the popularity of this glacier allows for a monstrous tourist facility that includes a multi-level parking garage, restaurants, a viewing tower, a cinema, and many gift shops, it is also possible to have a more intimate experience by taking one the many panoramic hiking trails along or across the glacier.
8. Petermann Glacier, Greenland
Petermann Glacier is one of the two largest remaining glaciers in Greenland that terminate in floating shelves. The glacier connects the great Greenland ice sheet directly with the ocean. It’s remote location is not very welcoming to visitors, but is also part of the glacier’s immense appeal. The Petermann Glacier actively births some of the largest icebergs in the world amidst continuous roaring and creaking sounds. In August 2010, an iceberg measuring 43 miles long broke off, the largest calved iceberg since 1955.
9. Jostedal Glacier, Norway
Norway’s Jostedalsbreen Glacier is one of Europe’s largest glaciers. It offers visitors spectacular views of an eerie blue mountain of ice, a fascinating Glacier Museum, plenty of adventurous activities, and stunning scenery. While severe melting has for example halted all mountaineering on the glacier, it is still an excellent place to visit on your Norwegian vacation.
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