A glacier is a large persistent body of ice. They form over many years, often centuries. Glaciers form only on land and should not be confused with icebergs which are huge bodies of ice that float on water. Glaciers and icebergs together hold most of Earth’s fresh waters. Here’s a list of the most amazing and famous glaciers in the world:
1. Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
Located 48 miles from the town of El Calafate. The Perito Moreno Glacier is a huge tourists attraction, most of which arrive to El Calafate to the sole purpose of visiting this Glacier. The tourists can view the glacier from a small boat on Lake Argentino, or from three viewing areas on land. Lucky visitors witness huge chunks of ice breaking from the glacier and plummeting into Lake Argentino. The more adventurous can go on a walk on the glacier or a helicopter flight. The Perito Moreno is 30 km (19 mi) in length.
2. Margerie Glacier, Glacier Bay, Alaska
Margerie Glacier is a 21-mile-long (34 km) glacier in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Like the Perito Moreno, it is also a major tourists attraction.
3. Furtwängler Glacier, Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
The Furtwängler Glacier is located near the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Furtwängler Glacier is a small remnant of an enormous icecap which once crowned the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. This icecap has retreated significantly over the past century; between 1912 and 2000, 82 percent of the glacial ice on the mountain has disappeared.The retreat of glacial ice on the summit is expected to continue and by the year 2020, all the glaciers on top of the mountain may be gone, although seasonal snows will continue to cover the higher sections of the mountain for several months of the year.
4. Pasterze Glacier, Austria
The Pasterze is around 8.4 kilometers (5.2 mi) in length, making it the longest glacier in Austria and in the Eastern Alps. It lies directly beneath Austria’s highest mountain, the Grossglockner. The length of the glacier currently decreases about 10 m (33 ft) each year. It’s thickness is about 120 m (400 ft).
5. Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland
Vatnajökull (meaning Glacier of Rivers), also known as the Vatna Glacier, is the largest and most voluminous glacier in Iceland, and one of the largest in area in Europe. It covers more than 8% of Iceland. The amazing Jökulsárlón (literally “glacial river lagoon”) is a large glacial lake that connected to the ocean and contains huge amount of icebergs that broke off Vanta glacier. It’s truly an incredible sight.
6. Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
The Franz Josef is a 12 km (7.5 mi) long glacier and the Fox Glacier is a 13 km (8.1) long glacier, both located on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. These glaciers are unique due to the fact that they descend from the Southern Alps to less than 300 meters (980 ft) above sea level, to a greenery temperate rainforest. Visiting these glaciers and doing a glacier walk are one of the most famous attractions in New Zealand’s south island.
7. Biafo Glacier, Pakistan
The Biafo Glacier is a 63 km (39 mi) long glacier in the Karakoram Mountains which meets the 49 km (30 mi) long Hispar (Nagar) Glacier at an altitude of 5,128 m (16,824 ft) to create the world’s longest glacial system outside the polar regions.
8. Canada Glacier, Antarctica
Antarctica is home to numerous glaciers and is a popular destination, with an ever increasing number of tourists. Canada glacier is just one of the many glaciers. It is a small glacier flowing south-east into the northern side of Taylor Valley in Victoria Land. The glacier receives less than 10 cm of snowfall annually and is technically a desert ecosystem. Its seasonal melting feeds Lake Fryxell to the west and Lake Hoare to the east
9. Yulong Glacier, China
Located on Yulong Mountain, also known as Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, in southwestern China. The highest peak of the mountain is 5,596 m (18,360 ft)
10. Jostedalsbreen Glacier, Norway
The largest glacier in continental Europe. It is situated in western Norway.It is 60 km (37 mi) long, 600 m (2,000 ft) thick and covers an area of 487 square km (188 sq mi).