Glaciers are majestic natural creations and make up most of the world’s fresh water reservoir. We know that the polar continents i.e. Antarctica and the Arctic, are almost all ice so it is also understandable that most of the biggest glaciers in the world would be situated there. After all, what are glaciers but giant sheets and bodies of ice in the form of layer onto layers formed over centuries or millennia?
What are Glaciers?
Glaciers are the gigantic bodies of ice found on the land. Although, a majority of glaciers on the planet earth are on the poles, there are some big glaciers in certain mountain regions all over the world except for the continent of Australia. Even then, there are some glaciers on some oceanic islands.
Most glaciers are moving all the time, albeit very slowly which is why we can’t see it or even measure it unless it is done over the course of a long time. This is why they are also called “Rivers of Ice.” Glaciers are not to be confused with bodies of ice – big or small – formed over water, in the seas or on lakes. Those ice bodies are much thinner than any glacier in comparison.
Here is a list including some brief details about five of the biggest, aka longest, glaciers not found on the Arctic or Antarctica.
In the Central Northern Province of Tajikistan, there is a Yazgulem range in the Pamir Mountains where this 77km long and almost 1000m wide glacier is located. So you can see that this glacier is quite narrow but it still covers over 700 square kilometers being the biggest non-polar glacier in the world.
This glacier is a contested territory between India and Pakistan but that doesn’t take away its majesty. This glacier is more or less 76km long & almost 8km wide and at its highest point it is almost 6000 meters high. It is the second largest glacier on the world not located on the poles.
Biafo is also a huge glacier located in the Korakaram mountain range in Pakistan. It is around 67km long and is the third largest glacier after Fedchenko and Siachen. The unique thing about this glacier is that it meets a 49kn long Hispar glacier to form the longest glacial system i.e. 100 km, on the main continents.
This is a 66km long glacier located in the southern part of Chile. Its other name is Pio XI Glacier and it is the longest glacier in the southern hemisphere. Of course, that is excluding Antarctica. The prominent thing that makes Brüggen stand to is the fact that it has moved significantly more than other glaciers amassing to several kilometers.
Baltoro Glacier is in the Korakaram mountain system in Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan. It is 63km long and is ranked 5th in the longest glaciers outside of Polar Regions. The world’s second largest mountain K2 is located with the glacier and is visible most of the time if you trek through the glacier.
To protect glaciers we have to stop global warming and apply environment friendly practices such as use evaporative cooling instead of air conditioning, plant trees, reduce CO2 transmission and do whatever you can to protect these magnificent beauties.