On May 28, 2008, the filmmakers behind Chasing Ice filmed a historic breakup at the Ilulissat Glacier when a chunk of ice measuring 3,000 feet tall inverted and dissolved in Western Greenland.
While the clip runs four and a half minutes, the calving event actually lasted a dramatic 75 minutes, and the glacier retreated a full mile across a calving face three miles wide.
In Chasing Ice, director Jeff Orlowski follows National Geographic photographer James Balog’s quest to catalogue disappearing glaciers in Greenland, Iceland, Alaska and Montana. More than 20 still cameras recorded the backward creep of glaciers rimming the Arctic Circle.
Despite being a good distance back from the glacier, the cameramen that shot the calving had to constantly zoom out just to capture the entire thing.
The piece that broke off was roughly the size of the lower quarter of Manhattan.