We often say that you only see 10% of the iceberg, the rest being underwater. US photographer Alex Cornell actually got the chance to see that – during a trip to Antarctica, he managed to take pictures of an extremely rare phenomenon: a flipped iceberg.

In his pictures, Cornell managed to capture the eerie beauty of the iceberg.

“It looked a lot more like a parked spacecraft than a floating iceberg,” Cornell wrote over at Reframe.

The picture also highlights an important feature – even though we think of icebergs as being white, that’s not really their real color – they get that from snow. In reality, they’re pretty much the same color that water is – a deep type of blue – because their chemical make-up absorbs light towards the red end of the spectrum and reflects the blue wavelengths back out to the world.

The rarity of what he was seeing didn’t struck him until later.

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“I think the funny thing was seeing this specific iceberg at the time wasn’t any more astounding than looking at the place itself,” Cornell told weather.com.

It was only after the expedition’s glaciologist reacted with extreme enthusiasm that Cornell realized what he was seeing. Cornell shot the photos at Cierva Cove on the Antarctic Peninsula last December on an expedition through the Drake Passage.

See more of his images at his website. You can also follow him on Twitter and Instagram to see more of his work. Especially the pictures from this expedition are quite spectacular.

All image credits: Alex Cornell.