An iceberg three and a half times the size of Houston has broken free from Antarctica.
The iceberg cleaved away on July 12 from an area known as the Larsen C Ice Shelf. The cleaving is a naturally occurring process, but icebergs this big are rare.
Just how big is that exactly?
The breakaway ice covers a whopping 2,200 square miles of surface area, four and half times the 627 square mile area of Houston proper. Still, the iceberg would cover only a fraction of the Houston Metro area which spans more than 10,000 square miles.
The mass of the iceberg lurks beneath the surface. The Larsen iceberg packs enough ice to fill Lake Erie twice over. Put another way, it would take up as much space as 1,657 Empire State Buildings.
Here is how it stacks up to some other parts of the U.S.:
Austin / San Antonio
New York City
The break has been on its way for a long time, with the main crack in the ice visible since the 1960s. Icebergs breaking away from the continent is a natural process in Antarctica, and not a new phenomenon brought about by climate change.