#33 - Antarctic Yo Mama Snaps

The picture above was taken on my trip to Antarctica. (Click on the pictures to view them in their full-size glory.) I was sitting on a rock watching 10-ton chunks of ice break off that glacier in the background and fall into the bay. As the sun bathed the glacier, the melting, cracking ice sounded like rifle shots and when a piece fell off and hit the water you could watch a bobbing ripple of small ice chunks roll miles out to sea.

The reason the glacier looks blue in this image is because... it is! Over the centuries and millennia the weight of the top layers of ice presses all the air out of the ice on the bottom. This leaves the ice perfectly clear. So clear in fact, that until you see it up close, you don't really realize that you've never seen perfectly clear ice before. It is a very good idea to take a hunk of this ice back to your vessel and sink it into some bourbon and drink it.

Ice which has been pressed in this manner over millions of years also refracts every color of light except blue. So, when you look at a large enough hunk of it, it actually appears to be glowing blue from the inside.

As our small, intrepid group marveled at the incredible spectacle of house-sized chunks of glowing blue ice crashing into the frigid waters of the bay, I took out my notebook and began writing. I could have sat there all day, but eventually the ship's horn sounded and we started back. As we picked our way through the penguins and seals on the beach, my new friend Patrick asked what I'd written down about the experience. I was then sheepishly forced to admit it was the following list of Yo Mama snaps I imagined might have been made up by a group of kids growing up in the streets of Antarctica. (If there were streets of Antarctica.) I was thinking that since there are only about five or six things in Antarctica, their Yo Mama snaps would have to take root in some pretty barren soil.

Hey, I don't control the ideas. I just write 'em down.
  • Yo mama so old, she lists her place of birth as Pangaea!
  • Yo mama so poor, she can only afford a genone penguin, not a gentoo!
  • Yo mama so stupid, she counts penguins like this: "gentoo, genthree, genfour..."
  • Yo mama so stupid, she thought chinstrap penguins were Chinese!
  • Yo mama so fat, she sat on some snow and made blue ice!
  • Yo mama so stupid, she thought a fur seal was a seal, not, in fact, a sea lion, as evidenced by its protuberant ears and its ability to "stand" on its front flippers.
  • Yo mama so stupid, she thought Antarctica was cold because of the snow and ice, not because the rays of the sun strike Earth's atmosphere at an obtuse angle and must penetrate a thicker slice of the atmosphere at the poles!
I'm pretty sure someone got served during that encounter. And it might have been me.


Anonymous said...

There is something twisted and beautiful about sinking a million year old ice chink into a drink. It's so casual yet earned. Also, I laughed reading the -Yo Mama- snaps. The best ones were: #1)counting penguins and #2)the first one that gets all intellectual about the difference between seals (second from the last). I give it a NEAT-O.

Chris said...

Thanks for responding. I'm trying to make some blue ice so I can recapture that taste sensation without going all the way back to Antarctica. If you're in the Wisconsin area in two and a half million years or so, drop me a line and we can drink a toast.