Iceberg Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Claire DeSaussure

Claire has worked in behavioral programs at the Elementary Level and has an MLS with a focus on Creative Writing.

Icebergs are floating chunks of ice that are mainly found in the North Atlantic Ocean and the seas around Antarctica. Icebergs can be dangerous to ships and come in many sizes.

Icebergs - What Are They?

You probably know that an iceberg was the thing that sank the 'unsinkable' ship the Titanic. An iceberg tore a hole in the side of ship and caused it to sink. But, did you know that icebergs had different names depending on their size? And did you know that there was an International Ice Patrol? It sounds almost like a band of super heroes, but this group of heroes protects ships from sinking like the Titanic.

An iceberg is piece of floating ice in an ocean or lake. They are formed when ice breaks off or calves from a glacier or larger piece of ice. Icebergs are like people and they come in all shapes and sizes. The largest iceberg ever known stood 550 feet out of the water, which is about the height of the Washington Monument! This huge iceberg was seen by the Coast Guard in Melville Bay, Greenland.

Different Names

In order to be an actual iceberg, the piece of floating ice has to be 16 feet across or larger - that's about half the length of a school bus. Smaller chunks of ice have the adorable names of 'bergy bits' and 'growlers'. Bergy bits are usually less than 15 feet in size and growlers are usually less than six feet. Despite their cute names, these icebergs can be more dangerous than the big ones, because they are harder for ships to see.

No Two Icebergs Are the Same

The International Ice Patrol

After the Titanic sank in 1912 close to Newfoundland, people realized that icebergs were very dangerous to ships. A group of countries got together and formed The International Ice Patrol. Using radar and airplanes this group finds icebergs and lets ships know where they are so that they can avoid them.

More Than Meets the Eye

Icebergs are tricky to navigate or steer around, because of their unusual shapes. Just like snowflakes, no two icebergs are the same. Not only that, most of the iceberg is hiding under the water. Scientists think that seven -eighths of the iceberg is under water. If you cut a pizza into eight slices and eat just one, you can get an idea of what seven-eighths looks like. You can see that almost all of the pizza is still in the box - almost the entire iceberg is hidden beneath the water's surface!

Look Closely - You Can See How Much of the Iceberg is Under the Water!

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