JUN 07, 2017 09:33 AM PDT

Why does the United Arab Emirates Want to Tow an Iceberg to the Middle East?


Towing an iceberg to the Middle Eastern heat and deserts as a tourist attraction and to provide the UAE citizens with fresh water sounds like a crazy plan, does it not? Well, it is. But is it even plausible? Let's look at the science behind the idea.

The process of towing an iceberg, a ginormous heaping mass of extremely heavy, melt-able ice, halfway around the world proves difficult. After carefully selecting an iceberg for shape and size, it would need to be fitted with an insulated "skirt" around the water line and pulled through the water by a huge tugboat. However, with such a large load, the tugboat could only travel about 1 knot per hour, meaning it would take 283 straight days of towing to reach the UAE. Furthermore, the iceberg would also lose up to 30% of its mass along the way due to warming water temperatures. But that's not the only downfall; the cost of a vessel that is strong enough to tow an iceberg, plus all the fuel that it would require would cost roughly $75,000 per day, totaling over $21,225,000 to reach the UAE. Sounds like an obstacle.

So while this plan is unlikely to play out, moving icebergs shorter distances actually does happen already today by oil companies when icebergs shift in storms and threaten to collide with oil rigs. Seem like a protest from Mother Nature? Watch the video to learn more!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
NOV 17, 2019
Cardiology
NOV 17, 2019
Find the Motivation to Exercise with Imagery
Those involved in professional sports have a lot on their plate. From fitting in intense regular workouts to getting adequate sleep, to eating a healthy di...
NOV 17, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 17, 2019
NASA Unveils New Space Suits for the Artemis Program
NASA’s Artemis program promises to revolutionize deep space travel in ways that many never thought imaginable. One of the most significant things Art...
NOV 17, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 17, 2019
Protein Batteries - Talk About "Power Bars"
The pioneers behind lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries were awarded Nobel prize this year. Still, scientists around the world already wish to move beyond this...
NOV 17, 2019
Clinical & Molecular DX
NOV 17, 2019
A Revealing Look at Rare Disease Incidence
Being diagnosed with a rare disease can be especially terrifying for patients. After all, many of these diseases have no treatment options. This is because...
NOV 17, 2019
Health & Medicine
NOV 17, 2019
Sherlock's DNA biosensors set to make diagnostics elementary
The anxious wait to receive results from expensive diagnostic laboratory tests could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a technological breakthrough. En...
NOV 17, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 17, 2019
Will Thorium Reactors Have a Future in Clean Energy?
In its pure form, thorium is a silver-black colored metal. Named after Thor, the hammer-wielding Norse god of thunder, it is the 90th element on the period...
Loading Comments...