Icebergs? In Massachusetts?
Icebergs? In Massachusetts? Curious onlookers walk around large chunks of sea ice washed up on Wellfleet Harbor Beach in Wellfleet, Massachusetts (AP photos)
Icebergs? In Massachusetts?
Lexile: 1060L

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Parts of Cape Cod have been looking a little bit like the Arctic Circle.

Icebergs aren't a common sight in Massachusetts. But massive chunks of ice have washed up on some beaches and they're drawing curious onlookers.

Children have been climbing some of the icy mammoths that cropped up along Duck Harbor Beach in Wellfleet. Despite a brief warmup earlier last week, there were still big chunks 5 1/2 to 6 feet high on the beach as late as last Thursday.

"It's amazing, they're like mini-icebergs," said Jessica Hornung, 33. She drove up from Connecticut with her three young children just to check out the unusual sight.

"It would be awesome if there were a polar bear on one of them," she joked.

Technically, the chunks aren't icebergs, which are defined as large pieces that break off glaciers or polar ice shelves.

Instead, meteorologists say, they're fragments from the extraordinary amount of ice that built up in Massachusetts Bay and were carried by currents into Cape Cod Bay and the Cape Cod Canal a startling reminder of an epic winter that held much of New England in an icy grip for weeks.

Michelle Norcross ventured out with her husband and daughter to snap photographs of the huge chunks at low tide, when they're most visible.

Some of the pieces are so big they dwarf humans.

"I'm hoping they're right when they say this is a once-in-a-generation occurrence. It's beautiful, but it's very unusual," she said.

"I don't want this to happen every year. It's kind of freaky."

Officials say the ice chunks are melting and the phenomenon won't last long.

Critical thinking challenge: Why are people calling the chucks icebergs if they aren't icebergs?

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Assigned 1 time

  • 00elenam00
    3/19/2015 - 10:50 a.m.

    I find the different weather issues very interesting. It is hard to believe that icebergs could occur in places as strange as Massachusetts! That is one of the places I would least expect an iceberg to pop up!

  • NicholsE-Sua
    3/26/2015 - 01:45 a.m.

    Why are people calling the chucks icebergs if they aren't icebergs?
    There call it Icebergs because it look like one. They are really made from large pieces of glaciers. Other one are made from polar ice shelves. It gets build in Massachusetts Bay where it first was seen and it looks just like a iceberg.The break off large pieces of glaciers or polar ice shelves start to move to Cod Bay and Cape Cod Canal.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    9/29/2015 - 10:02 p.m.

    This is an unusual sight because this is not common in Massachusetts. Normally, this will not happen at all. This would be amazing to see it in person. I wonder how scientists felt when they saw this.
    Critical thinking challenge: Why are people calling the chucks icebergs if they aren't icebergs?
    People are calling the chunks icebergs because it is still big.

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