Camille Seaman: Haunting photos of polar ice

Camille Seaman: Haunting photos of polar ice


As an artist, connection is very important to me. Through my work I’m trying to articulate that humans are not separate from nature and that everything is interconnected. I first went to Antarctica almost 10 years ago, where I saw my first icebergs. I was in awe. My heart beat fast, my head was dizzy, trying to comprehend what it was that stood in front of me. The icebergs around me were almost 200 feet out of the water, and I could only help but wonder that this was one snowflake on top of another snowflake, year after year. Icebergs are born when they calve off of glaciers or break off of ice shelves. Each iceberg has its own individual personality. They have a distinct way of interacting with their environment and their experiences. Some refuse to give up and hold on to the bitter end, while others can’t take it anymore and crumble in a fit of dramatic passion. It’s easy to think, when you look at an iceberg, that they’re isolated, that they’re separate and alone, much like we as humans sometimes view ourselves. But the reality is far from it. As an iceberg melts, I am breathing in its ancient atmosphere. As the iceberg melts, it is releasing mineral-rich fresh water that nourishes many forms of life. I approach photographing these icebergs as if I’m making portraits of my ancestors, knowing that in these individual moments they exist in that way and will never exist that way again. It is not a death when they melt; it is not an end, but a continuation of their path through the cycle of life. Some of the ice in the icebergs that I photograph is very young — a couple thousand years old. And some of the ice is over 100,000 years old. The last pictures I’d like to show you are of an iceberg that I photographed in Qeqetarsuaq, Greenland. It’s a very rare occasion that you get to actually witness an iceberg rolling. So here it is. You can see on the left side a small boat. That’s about a 15-foot boat. And I’d like you to pay attention to the shape of the iceberg and where it is at the waterline. You can see here, it begins to roll, and the boat has moved to the other side, and the man is standing there. This is an average-size Greenlandic iceberg. It’s about 120 feet above the water, or 40 meters. And this video is real time. (Music) And just like that, the iceberg shows you a different side of its personality. Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Camille Seaman: Haunting photos of polar ice

  • June 17, 2011 at 1:54 am
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    I want to have sex to the music that went on while the Iceberg was flipping

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  • June 17, 2011 at 2:04 am
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    This guy Rush Limbaugh says that global warming is not real and hes a very wealthy and very popular radio personality. I think we need no further investigation about that issue.

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  • June 17, 2011 at 2:25 am
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    @ThisBoyTV

    "1 mile.. wow that's really deep."

    Just to clarify, that is 1 mile below sea level, and over 2 miles to the surface. Yes, very deep and very hot.

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  • June 17, 2011 at 2:25 am
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    The ending was the best part.

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  • June 17, 2011 at 2:37 am
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    @CognosSquare lolol

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  • June 17, 2011 at 4:23 am
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    @YawnGod icebergist…

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  • June 17, 2011 at 5:20 am
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    nice photos..makes me thirsty.

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  • June 17, 2011 at 6:41 am
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    Its like a whale

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  • June 17, 2011 at 7:00 am
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    @gexman31 They dont forget that but none the less we do more towards the green house gases that will destabilise the planet and lead to our destruction and the deaths of lots of innocent animals.
    Even if its a regular occurrence for the world to go into this we should stop it and make sure that it stays clean and the right temperature. Thats our responsibility as the dominant race.

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  • June 17, 2011 at 7:21 am
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    Poor icebergs.

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  • June 17, 2011 at 7:26 am
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    @1stNightingale wait, you responded to my comment? my comment was lolol… I'm not really proud of it, but i assumed it would go unnoticed by all except cognosSquare. Damn you, nightingale. You have caught me at my worst.

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  • June 17, 2011 at 7:49 am
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    Seriously… They're fucking icebergs.

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  • June 17, 2011 at 8:38 am
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    Icebergs have personality? WTF?

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  • June 17, 2011 at 8:41 am
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    skip to 3:21 for best part!

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  • June 17, 2011 at 8:47 am
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    wooooooot!?? nobody made any funny references to her lastname? Have the internetz really matured that much?

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  • June 17, 2011 at 11:02 am
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    Next she's gonna tell us how the ice bergs imparted their ancient wisdom onto her, through the medium of her innate connection to gaia.

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  • June 17, 2011 at 11:10 am
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    Save the Icebergs! Stop heating your homes!

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  • June 17, 2011 at 11:12 am
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    Much better without sound

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  • June 17, 2011 at 1:55 pm
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    @Prytanus
    Hear hear

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  • June 17, 2011 at 2:16 pm
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    Not scientific? You're missing the point. They're beautiful pictures accompanied by beautiful words… pretty much as good as it gets.

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  • June 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm
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    based on these comments, I'd say science doesn't appreciate art anywhere NEAR the degree art appreciates science…

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  • June 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm
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    @tentontoby They don't appreciate it when art is trying to deform science.

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  • June 17, 2011 at 3:25 pm
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    I saw Camille's website a month ago and the pictures there are 10 times more powerful and beautiful without this 'poetic' speech.

    camilleseaman(.)com

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  • June 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm
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    Awesome, such an interesting person!

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  • June 17, 2011 at 5:33 pm
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    hi guys,
    i have seen a face in front of the second ice-block!
    peer from germany

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  • June 17, 2011 at 6:17 pm
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    nervousss

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  • June 17, 2011 at 7:04 pm
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    God has created the world for us to learn something from it.

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  • June 17, 2011 at 8:16 pm
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    @craigdb84 *rolls eyes*

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  • June 17, 2011 at 8:38 pm
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    from now on when I put ice in my coke, I'll get all emotional noticing the various personalities of the ice cubes as they melt.

    BTW after watching this video, The Titanic will be even more sad as I think about the unfortunate ice berg scared by careless humans.

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  • June 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm
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    Such beautiful pictures. They remind me of the pictures of my walks in the high mountains.

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  • June 17, 2011 at 10:04 pm
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    @infinityms bcoz u're not human, if God doesnt exist, prove it, just make an iceberg just like in this vid, and compare with the real one, im sure, u cant.

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  • June 17, 2011 at 10:43 pm
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    @Rogerdof thats all u can say? congrats!

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  • June 17, 2011 at 10:53 pm
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    @Rogerdof so, why did u start making up ur words here…i just said what i wanted to say, just dont bother with my words, it wuld be enough…just be bothering with urself, kind man!

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  • June 17, 2011 at 11:08 pm
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    @Rogerdof i can give u an analogy and let u think, if u want to, how come a thing like a car for example can be exist if there's no a creator. a car cant make itself, there must be a creator just like the world. I will bother enough to make you stop arguing with my issue. this is my freedom of speech, kind man. You're welcome.

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  • June 17, 2011 at 11:54 pm
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    @drafmd The fact that he can't make an iceberg himself does not prove that God exists.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 12:45 am
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    @Prytanus – It might not be as intellectual as the usual TED stuff but it is absolutely stunning and I'm glad I got to see it. Haters can sink like the Titanic on this one.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 3:19 am
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    @Danen3 thats why i told u, if he cant make an iceberg, who made it? just think, dude. just look at yourself, such a perfect order, hiding in urselves, running in ur veins, are you so blind to push it all aside? just have to open your eyes, your hearts, and your minds. thats the proof from God. if there's a thing, there must be a creator. a thing cant be exist by itself.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 6:00 am
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    I wonder if she masturbates with popsicles.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 8:07 am
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    @drafmd So who created god?

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  • June 18, 2011 at 8:27 am
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    @drafmd Nature made the iceberg and science can explain it. It is an incredibly false claim to say that because something is, it must have a creator. IE: Wind, trees, grass, mountains, clouds…I could go on and on.

    Don't forget, quantum mechanics has already proven that something can be created from nothing. You're already a religious person obviously so you're seeing "proof" where you want to see it or think it is.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 9:22 am
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    @Danen3 so, God creates quantum mechanics, human or scientists just explored it…

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  • June 18, 2011 at 9:57 am
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    @ISavant God is not created, bcoz He is the Creator, He is eternal, lasting or existing forever; without end or beginning. But a creation has its beginning and its end. Just like matter, time and space. They are finite, u cant hv an infinite amount of finite things. They have a beginning and an end.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 10:35 am
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    when she started talking about iceberg "personalities" it was too much for me.

    great pictures!

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  • June 18, 2011 at 10:36 am
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    @Shunkitology mean but I laughed 😀

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  • June 18, 2011 at 11:54 am
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    @drafmd if a car can't exsist without a creator then how can god exsist without a creator? You said something can't exsist without a creator then talk about god exsisting without a creator, beginning or end.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 2:54 pm
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    I was actually interested in her interpretation of what's being released as they melt…though the lack of context of what this means for the ecosystem furrowed my brow.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 3:08 pm
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    Great photos. Cool vid. Commentary too anthropomorphic.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 4:24 pm
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    @drafmd So again, who created God? YOu keep saying something can't exist without a creator, therefore God exists, but according to your (retarded) logic, God was created.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 4:32 pm
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    @andrewrossburgess bcoz God is NOT a thing, God is NOT like creation, God has no characters of a creation…God is God…he is not a god if he is created…still, u culdnt understand…all creation has the beginning and the end, God has none of them…God is Eternal…all creation such as matter, time and space are finite, we cant make or create finite things to be infinite.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm
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    @photodube agreed, and agreed with the other top comment that says "not bad on mute". Anthropomorphizing like this is diminishing the beauty of nature. Maybe it's just the natural-science geek in me that find nature (all of it, not just the biosphere) in itself beautiful.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 4:44 pm
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    @doGoNsIylbaborPerehT ASK this question to urself…can u make or create urself…?? i dont believe in evolution. if u believe in evolution, so, u r a kind of an ape.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 4:57 pm
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    @doGoNsIylbaborPerehT u see, u still hv to use an already exist thing to create something, but God can create anything from nothing…pink unicorns are absolutely not exist, bcuz people made it up. u have seen a unicorn? God does exist and the proof is around u, His creation.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm
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    @doGoNsIylbaborPerehT so, there must be a designer for that.

    "The Earth seems to be "designed" to support life because if it couldn't support life there wouldn't be life on it. (Obviously…)"

    bcoz God knows His creation. Still, there must a great thinker bhind all this designs. can u expect the Earth just be by itself? No, man. To make a gud building, needs a gud thinker and designer.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm
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    The anthropomorphizing of icebergs sounds childish and unworthy of a TED talk, I felt like I was listening to a 5 year old talk about her stuffed animals and their "personalities".

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  • June 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm
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    @drafmd I bet you follow a book such as the bible, qur'an or something like that.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm
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    @doGoNsIylbaborPerehT if humans or other animals are not perfect, hw ur body works in order perfectly…

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  • June 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm
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    @doGoNsIylbaborPerehT yes thats my question, but u cant create urself before u exist…before u were born, can u create urself? who made u?

    can u create a thing from nothing? still, u have to use a wood to make a house, but where does the wood come from? from a tree, where does the tree come from? from the soil. where does the soil come from? u will keep asking this kind pf question until u find, God creates everything. And He is not created, bcuz He has no end nor beginning.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm
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    @andrewrossburgess every religion has a guide. if have no religion, so have no guide.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm
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    @doGoNsIylbaborPerehT so, ASK again urself, when u look at a shirt, a building, or anything, u must refer to the designer. it is foolish if u see a building for example, and u didnt think of the designer, the architect, the engineer or whatsoever.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 5:51 pm
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    @doGoNsIylbaborPerehT yes, i think of who would design those incredible things, moutain, river etc…the designer is the God. so what? it's logic, where there's a thing, there must be a designer.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm
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    @doGoNsIylbaborPerehT "pink unicorns are absolutely not exist" i havent seen one real. God is unseen bcuz He is not affected by matter, time and space.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm
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    @doGoNsIylbaborPerehT how nature creates the icebergs?

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  • June 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm
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    Great to see a genuinely humble and modest person on TED doing great things, rather than most of these arrogant fools with inflated egos because they've programmed some useless computer code.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 6:41 pm
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    @BroBroDude Best comment ever

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  • June 18, 2011 at 7:01 pm
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    It's nice to know that TED's online audience is just as idiotic (and apparently confused by figurative language) as the rest of the world. Whoa, whoa… "personalities"?! Icebergs don't have brains!!1

    Real smart, guys.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 7:21 pm
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    @drafmd well we know for sure that the bible is at least partially wrong. Probably created many moons ago by some guy with a sword who wanted to gain power over a lot of people.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 7:38 pm
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    ICE BERGS ARE PEOPLE TOO GOD DAMMIT!

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  • June 18, 2011 at 8:34 pm
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    Take off your coat, stay a while.

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  • June 18, 2011 at 8:46 pm
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    @SuperAtheist cool

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  • June 18, 2011 at 8:49 pm
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    @drafmd i see pink unicorns everyday honest

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  • June 18, 2011 at 10:23 pm
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    @drafmd You can't just tag God ahead of every great human discovery. If he's so great…watch this 6 min vid
    /watch?v=YXfIop5ZOsY

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  • June 18, 2011 at 11:28 pm
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    Did anyone else mute the video and just look at the pretty pictures?

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  • June 19, 2011 at 2:07 am
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    WTF.. is this some kind of newfangled eskimo muti-media poetry reading or something?

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  • June 19, 2011 at 2:09 am
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    I'd be more impressed if she (artistically) threw herself off of an iceberg 😀

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  • June 19, 2011 at 4:41 am
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    @Danen3 im not a Christian, thk u for sharing that vid…

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  • June 19, 2011 at 5:46 am
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    Utter crap.

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  • June 20, 2011 at 2:36 am
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    i don't know what you're all complaining about.

    I came here to see beautiful pictures of ice and that's exactly what i got. Mission accomplished.

    What on earth did YOU idiots come here to see?

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  • June 20, 2011 at 6:31 am
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    she's too dumb for TED

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  • June 20, 2011 at 10:08 am
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    Wow! Who writes this shit? Yes artist not logician artist not biologist. Talking about icebergs as if the are human. Those icebergs hate people putting words in their mouths. She need to get her ass back to the local fast food joint before she has a passionate fall into her own despair. Hey but thanks for trying! Ted for realistic people not passivized conformist. Well just thought i'd put that out there for the Jesus Demons

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  • June 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm
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    "different side of its personality"?? its just mooning her

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  • June 21, 2011 at 8:29 am
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    ICEolated. Hehe, this really shouldn't be this funny.

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  • June 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm
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    @doGoNsIylbaborPerehT In case you didn't notice, my intention wasn't to say anything about icebergs or the evidence for god's existence (which btw I don't need to supply, you do.) I find it quite humorous that religious people tell me I look like a fool for stating my opinion. The irony, it burns.

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  • June 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm
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    @doGoNsIylbaborPerehT
    In that case yes I did make a fool of myself, and yes I was wrong. I only checked two pages back and must have misread. Excuse me.

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  • June 21, 2011 at 5:01 pm
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    @doGoNsIylbaborPerehT I usually do it when I'm really tired and frustrated. I really did check, just overlooked. But yeah everyone does it from time to time.

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  • June 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm
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    @drafmd We don't care about your belief system. Untill you have valid proof (no analogies, no stories, just solid hard and indisputable evidence) I advise you to shut the F*ck up. Because really, you have no idea how frustrating it is to watch religious nuts go on rampage on every *** video.

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  • June 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm
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    This is why i dislike artists. They have to personify EVERYTHING.

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  • June 23, 2011 at 8:44 pm
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    Liked the pictures, but to be honest I muted the sound.

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  • June 24, 2011 at 11:55 am
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    It's cool and some great shots, but does she have to refer to these ice bergs as if they're living, breathing things?

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  • June 26, 2011 at 7:45 am
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    AWFUL… go smoke some more seal dung

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  • June 28, 2011 at 5:41 pm
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    nice photos, but was she really deserving to be in TEDtalks?

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  • July 1, 2011 at 5:29 am
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    Did I miss something? Almost 1 out of 3 people have "disliked" this TED talk. Why??

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  • July 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm
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    Hakuna matata.

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  • August 1, 2011 at 1:07 am
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    ok 13 why's but mine is 14th 🙂 actually 15 ;)…why is this iceberg turning?¿?

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  • December 16, 2011 at 9:47 am
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    @RezaRob3
    Because it seems to be completely void of any true purpose… It is something being fascinated by icebergs but instead of giving us some interesting or useful information or inside she basicly says "Look how pretty they are!" and I frankly expected TED to have higher standards. Or at least that is my opinion.

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  • December 28, 2011 at 4:30 am
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    Beautiful. Informative.

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  • July 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm
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    Sarah Connor Chronicles theme

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  • June 23, 2013 at 11:16 pm
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    She must be cold

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  • November 15, 2018 at 3:05 pm
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    Camille: do not worry about the "smart comments" below… it's a proof that you are right!
    Did you ever hear an iceberg say stupid things? No! So the iceberg is smarter then some people below…
    ..and YES I do ask the mighty Thunderbirds to not harm me or the Clouds to do nice poses when shooting in stormy weather…
    …Mitakuye Oyassin…

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  • July 30, 2019 at 2:38 pm
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    Why is it emotional speech ?!

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