A Tramp Abroad By Mark Twain






































































































 -   If one could cleave off the butt end of such
a glacier - an oblong block two or three miles wide - Page 390
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If One Could Cleave Off The Butt End Of Such A Glacier - An Oblong Block Two Or Three Miles Wide

By five and a quarter long and two thousand feet thick - he could completely hide the city of New York

Under it, and Trinity steeple would only stick up into it relatively as far as a shingle-nail would stick up into the bottom of a Saratoga trunk.

"The boulders from Mont Blanc, upon the plain below Ivrea, assure us that the glacier which transported them existed for a prodigious length of time. Their present distance from the cliffs from which they were derived is about 420,000 feet, and if we assume that they traveled at the rate of 400 feet per annum, their journey must have occupied them no less than 1,055 years! In all probability they did not travel so fast."

Glaciers are sometimes hurried out of their characteristic snail-pace. A marvelous spectacle is presented then. Mr. Whymper refers to a case which occurred in Iceland in 1721:

"It seems that in the neighborhood of the mountain Kotlugja, large bodies of water formed underneath, or within the glaciers (either on account of the interior heat of the earth, or from other causes), and at length acquired irresistible power, tore the glaciers from their mooring on the land, and swept them over every obstacle into the sea. Prodigious masses of ice were thus borne for a distance of about ten miles over land in the space of a few hours; and their bulk was so enormous that they covered the sea for seven miles from the shore, and remained aground in six hundred feet of water!

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