With their endless expanses of snow, blue ice, and crystal clear surfaces, glaciers are an incredibly breathtaking natural wonder. If you’re looking for a less poetic way to describe them, these astonishing bodies of icy mass are essentially large bodies of ice formed over centuries, when the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation (melting and sublimation). A combination of weight and gravity cause the glacier to deform and move, also creating crevasses, seracs, and other distinguishing features.
At least 48 countries worldwide are said to contain glaciers. Here are five of the most impressive ones.
Pakistan: Baltoro Glacier
At 62 kilometers long, the Baltoro Glacier is one of the largest glaciers outside the polar regions (the frigid zones surrounding the Earth’s poles). The melting water from the glacier creates the area’s Shigar river.