Due to Melting, Superman Relocates Fortress of Solitude to South Pole
December 7, 2013
An ominous cloud rises over Superman’s icy man cave, the Fortress of Solitude, perhaps indicating that Lex Luthor is up to his dastardly tricks again.
Actually, it is completely natural, and nothing to do with supervillain antics. It is a lenticular cloud, which can be produced when air near the surface gets pushed upwards as it flows over peaks in the landscape, creating pressure waves. The clouds form at the top of the wave, where the air is coolest.
That’s not all. The jagged outcrops of the fortress are bulges of sea ice caused by two ice floes crashing into each other, similar to the way collidingtectonic plates form mountain ranges.
This picture was snapped by a scientist on a flight from McMurdo station in Antarctica as part of NASA’s Operation IceBridge. The missions aims to combine radar data taken from aircraft with satellite images, like the one below, in an effort to track changing ice conditions in Antarctica and the Arctic.
(And yes, we know the Man of Steel’s home-away-from-home is normally found at the other end of the planet in the Arctic, but he’s also a fictional alien who wears his underwear on the outside, so how about allowing us some poetic licence?)