trange as it sounds, there are glaciers in the Swiss Alps that get tucked in every summer. One of them is the impressive Rhone Glacier. When the time comes, a team hikes through several mountains. Their luggage includes food, tools, and enormous white blankets.
Soon, the glacier disappears beneath the covers in what looks like a really strange local custom. Instead, it is an attempt to stop the melting. Though any white surface, such as the sheets, will reflect the Sun’s heat, it cannot fight it off completely. The glacier’s retreat will slow down but not cease completely as hoped.
On a warm day, it still shrinks 10–12 centimeters (4–5 in). The reason that the Swiss carpet their natural wonders is not entirely environmental. The disappearing glacier is threatening a real and profitable tradition. Since 1870, tourists have flocked to the area to visit the artificial ice grotto carved every year. From the beginning of this cold attraction, Rhone has already retreated 1,400 meters (4,600 ft).
From storybook snowcapped mountains to the poles, Earth’s cold spots make for an interesting experience. Ski antics and monster sightings aside, ice fields can produce things that scientists have never seen before, clues about history, and even far-reaching disasters that are born in the Arctic.
Tourists travel to remote places to witness fantastic events, while icebergs and shelves behave in ways that scientists cannot explain. But the frozen depths can also hold some of the most terrifying discoveries and disappearances in the natural world.