It was a striking sight: a huge iceberg looming over a tiny Arctic village. Ice is ubiquitous along Greenland’s coast, but this giant has put the inhabitants of Innaarsuit, population 169, on edge.

Locals fear that a chunk of the iceberg — the biggest they have seen — might tumble into the ocean and unleash an enormous wave on the settlement. Big icebergs tend to break apart in spectacular fashion. “It’s not a peaceful process,” said Joerg Schaefer, a climate researcher at Columbia University.

Greenland’s ice sheet is losing ice at an alarming pace, and the number of icebergs released into the ocean is expected to increase, Schaefer said.

Were ‘sea monsters’ actually whales?

There’s an ancient Greco-Roman poem that tells the tale of fishermen who harpooned a sea monster. But was this “sea monster” actually a whale?

A new study provides the first direct evidence that two whale species, the gray whale and the North Atlantic right whale, may have lived near Mediterranean shores 2,000 years ago. It expands the historical range of the whale species and suggests they once roamed the same waters as the ancient Romans.

The authors also believe the finding could mean that the Romans, who had more than 200 processing plants for fish, may have conducted industrial-scale whaling. “We show the Romans had the means, technology and the opportunity for a whaling industry,” said Ana Rodrigues, an ecologist in France. “But we don’t prove that they did.”

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