Flipped iceberg

All photos: Alex Cornell

Taken at water level from a small Zodiac cruising boat, San Franscisco-based photographer and filmmaker Alex Cornell happened upon this otherworldly chunk of ice in Cierva Cove on the western side of the Antarctic peninsula.

While icebergs are typically white, this one had recently flipped over to reveal a glassy, deep blue underbelly that Cornell describes as almost "alien-like."

In most cases, about 90 percent of any given iceberg is underwater, so flips like this are rare. When one does flip, the ice underneath most likely hasn't been exposed to the surface in many, many years. Cornell explains that this iceberg was probably very old and the exquisite color is essentially "the glacial equivalent of aging white hairs."

Flipped iceberg in Antarctica

Of course, Cornell witnessed more than just an epic iceberg while visiting the remote, icy continent. He writes of his experiences:

"The trip overall was amazing — Antarctica is pretty clearly a very unique place. We crossed the Drake Passage and got really lucky with calm seas (relatively). Once there, we'd usually go ashore twice a day via Zodiac boats. Another highlight was spending time with penguins. They are terrific animals — bumbling, determined and cute. Icebergs and penguins: two very different sights, but each fascinating in their own way!"

Continue below to see more images from the expedition (including penguins!). You can check out the entire collection on Cornell's website or follow him on twitter (@AlexCornell).

Iceberg sheet
Antarctic expedition
Penguins in Antarctica
Sun halo in Antarctica
Seal in Antarctica
Iceberg in band of light
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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.

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If you ever wanted to know what an iceberg looks like underneath the waves, then check out these striking images captured during an Antarctic expedition.