Page last updated at 11:17 GMT, Saturday, 31 May 2008 12:17 UK

Schoolboy first to 'name' iceberg

Scientists will track the iceberg as it melts over the next decade

An enormous Antarctic iceberg will be known as "Melting Bob" after being named by a Hampshire schoolboy.

Melting Bob is three times the size of Greater London with a surface area of 1,985sq miles (5,141sq km) and had been referred to by a codename - C19A.

But Max Dolan, aged six, from Winchester, won the Scott Polar Research Institute competition.

Organisers said it is the first time an iceberg has been known other than by its numeric codename and co-ordinates.

Scientists will track Melting Bob over the next decade in the Southern Ocean.

Max, who attends St Bede Church of England Primary School, was entered into the competition at the Hay Literary Festival by his mother and beat 500 entrants to the prize.

Bobbing action

"The iceberg bobs in the water and is melting", Max said about his inspiration.

"It's huge and cool."

Entries were judged by Professor Julian Dowdeswell, the director of the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University, and author Dame Jacqueline Wilson.

"I like the name because it encompasses the two ways in which icebergs become smaller - by melting, of course, but also by fragmentation which is caused by flexing in ocean waves," said Prof Dowdeswell.

"This flexing could be regarded as the bobbing of the winning suggestion."

Melting Bob was created in May 2002 when it cleaved from the Ross ice shelf.

Only one-tenth of an iceberg can be seen above the water.

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