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The world’s largest iceberg is on the loose after being grounded for more than 30 years in Antarctica’s frozen waters, the Guardian reported.

Scientists surveying the frozen continent said recent satellite images showed the gargantuan-sized iceberg, named A23a, moving beyond Antarctica’s Wedell Sea. The iceberg had split from the Filchner Ice Shelf in 1986 but since then got stuck to the ocean floor.

A23a is truly massive: Weighing more than a trillion tons, it’s around three times the size of New York City, measuring about 1,500 square miles.

Researchers explained that it is rare for such a massive ice body to move, adding that strong winds and currents are causing the iceberg to drift past the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

They added that it will eventually reach the Southern Ocean on a path known as “iceberg alley” where others of its kind are also floating.

There are a lot of theories and speculations about why A23a decided to make a run for it now, but some researchers suggested “the time had just come.”

In the meantime, glaciologists are closely monitoring the journey and potential fate of this city-sized icy body.

If it becomes grounded on South Georgia island, it could impact the millions of animals – including seals and penguins – that breed and forage on and around there.

Glaciologist Oliver Marsh also cautioned that A23a’s size would allow it to survive the warmer waters of the Southern Ocean and potentially “make its way farther north up toward South Africa where it can disrupt shipping.”

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