30 strikingly beautiful glaciers in the world

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Elia Tabuenca García
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Top 30 of the most picturesque glaciers on earth

Combining freezing temperatures and precipitation, nature has created one of its most impressive art forms. From Mexico to the Himalayas, from East Africa to Patagonia, glaciers come in a variety of shapes and colors: ice caps, ice fields, polar ice caps (ice sheets), ice shelves, and rivers of ice in shades of blue and white.

99% of the glaciers on Earth are found in the ice sheets of the polar regions. What about the remaining 1%? They are scattered on every continent except Australia. Unfortunately, glaciers have been retreating since 1850 due to climate change.


Hurry up! Discover these 30 glaciers in pictures before they disappear...

Jakobshavn Glacier (Jakobshavn Isbræ), Greenland

10% of Greenland's icebergs are produced by the Jakobshavn glacier. Many of the icebergs like this one are of enormous proportions, reaching a kilometre in height.

Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska, USA

Located near Juneau, the capital of Alaska, the Mendenhall Glacier is 19 kilometres long. The most experienced climbers can climb the ice caves under the glacier.

Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina

One of the most visited sites in Argentine Patagonia, the Perito Moreno Glacier is a short drive from El Calafate and is the third largest freshwater reserve in the world.

Matanuska Glacier, Alaska, USA

The Matanuska Glacier in Alaska is over 43 km long and 6.5 km wide, making it the largest glacier in the United States accessible by car.

Biafo Glacier, Pakistan


Located in the mountains of Pakistan, the Biafo Glacier is the third longest glacier in the world outside the polar regions, at 68 kilometres long.

Kaskawulsh Glacier, Canada

The Kaskawulsh Glacier flows into Kluane Lake in the Yukon Territory, with 80% of the glacier's melt reaching the lake. The remaining 20% flows into the Pacific Ocean via the Kaskawulsh and Alsek rivers.

Pastoruri Glacier, Peru

The Pastoruri glacier, located in the Andes Cordillera, is popular with tourists, snowboarders, and ice climbers. 22% of the surface of Peruvian glaciers have disappeared in the last 30 years.

Grey Glacier, Chile

Part of the Southern Patagonian Icefield and located in the Torres del Paine National Park, the Grey Glacier (here seen from space) flows into Lake Grey. The glacier is 30 meters high and six kilometers wide.

Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland

Vatnajökull is Iceland's largest ice cap, covering more than 8% of the entire country. The average thickness of the ice is 400 meters.

Margerie Glacier, Alaska, USA

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992, the Margerie Glacier in Alaska is a 34 km long tidal water glacier. A geological study within Glacier Bay National Park proves that the glacier contains significant copper deposits.

Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland

The Aletsch glacier is the largest in the Alps, covering more than 117 km². In 2001, the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch site, which surrounds the glacier, was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Eyjafjallajökull Glacier, Iceland

Its name means "mountain glacier of the island" in Icelandic. Eyjafjallajökull is one of the smallest ice caps in Iceland, covering the caldera of a volcano (so the glacier is often covered with ash). The last eruption of the volcano took place in 2010 and had paralyzed air traffic for several days at the time.

Fox Glacier, New Zealand

Located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the South Island of New Zealand, the Fox Glacier is fed by four alpine glaciers. Unlike most glaciers, the Fox Glacier has been advancing since 1985.

Saskatchewan Glacier, Canada

Known for its blue-green glacial lakes, Banff National Park in Alberta is home to the Sakwatchewan Glacier. The glacier is the main

Midui Glacier, Tibet

The Midui glacier is located in Yupu Township in Tibet. The altitude of the main peak of the glacier is over 6700 m. It was only opened to tourists in 2007.

Glacier du Géant, France

The Glacier du Géant is located on the French side of Mont-Blanc. The glacier feeds the Mer de Glace, which is the longest glacier in France.


Skaftafell Glacier (Skaftafellsjökull), Iceland

In Skaftafell National Park in southern Iceland, Skaftafellsjokull has declined significantly in recent years, but is still a sight to behold. Ice caves are found here.

San Rafael Glacier, Chile

The San Rafael glacier in the south of Chile flows into the San Rafael lagoon for more than 60 meters. Visitors can see it up close on a cruise, or even closer by motorized inflatable boat.

Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

One of Antarctica's many glaciers, the Pine Island Glacier is one of the most remote on earth. The nearest frequently occupied research station is Rothera, which is 1300 km away. No country claims the area.

Hubbard Glacier, USA and Canada

The Hubbard Glacier is located in eastern Alaska and part of the Yukon Territory, Canada. The largest tidewater glacier in North America, Hubbard is 122 km long and 11 km wide.

Victoria Glacier, Canada

The Victoria Glacier is located above Lake Louise in Banff National Park in Alberta. The lake's colour is derived from the rock flour deposited in the lake by melting ice.

Surprise Glacier, Alaska, United States

The Surprise Glacier is part of Denali National Park and Reserve in Alaska. The glacier is known to be an extraordinary site to witness glacier calving (loss of glacier fragments).

Snowy Mount Yulong, China

Known as the "Snowy Mountain of the Jade Dragon", the Yulong Glacier reaches an altitude of 3660 m.

Upsala Glacier, Argentina

Located in Los Glaciares National Park, the Upsala Glacier is also part of Patagonia's Southern Icefield. The glacier feeds the most famous Perito Moreno glacier.

Nigardsbreen Glacier, Norway

Nigardsbreen is an arm of the much larger Jostedalsbreen Glacier in Norway, located in Jostedalsbreen National Park. Ice caves of considerable size are found under the glacier.

Franz Joseph Glacier, New Zealand

Located in the same national park as the Fox Glacier, Franz Joseph is 19 km further north. It has undergone a cyclical evolution of glacial retreat and advance in recent years.

Baltoro Glacier, Pakistan

The Baltoro glacier is located in the mountainous region of Baltistan in Pakistan. The glacier flows into the Shigar River.

Pasterze Glacier, Austria

The Pasterze Glacier is the longest glacier in Austria, measuring more than 8 km in length. But not for long, the glacier is shrinking in length by about 10 meters each year.

Ngozumpa Glacier, Nepal

The Ngozumpa glacier is the longest in the Himalayas, resting under Cho Oyu (the sixth highest mountain in the world). The glacier, which flows slowly, is deposited in a lake of melt water that has been called "Spillway".

Furtwängler Glacier, Tanzania

The Furtwängler Glacier is located at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. A striking victim of climate change, the glacier is expected to melt completely by 2020.

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