A Strange Creature Trapped On An Iceberg Is Discovered By This Fishing Crew

By: Lauren Wurth | Last updated: Nov 19, 2023

In the frigid waters off of Labrador, Canada, it was a busy day for this crab fishing crew who were waiting for their catch of the day. Lying within the northwestern arm of the North Atlantic Ocean, this area exists between Canada and Greenland. Cliff Russell, Alan Russell, and Mallory Harrigan of the Northern Swan were familiar with the rough and icy waters of the North Atlantic. It was on this trip, however, that they would encounter something very unusual.

Seagulls were swooping down at a strange creature that was trapped on a nearby iceberg. It seemed as if the creature was prey, so Harrigan and the Russells who were moved by what they saw, felt compelled to help it. They were met with a surprising discovery as soon as they got closer.

The Fishing Crew's Routine Took An Unexpected Turn

Unfolding as it typically does, the day went on. Their boat called Northern Swan belong to the crew and it was sailing in the direction of a town known as Pinsent’s Arm. They usually get their fuel there, so they made a stop.  


Source: Twillingates.co/ Pinterest

Their usual routine took on a life of its own after the crew got to Pinsent’s Arm because something out of the ordinary caught their attention. Never in their many years of fishing the waters had they come across anything quite like it.


They Came Across A Mushroom Shaped Iceberg

About four miles off the coast, the crew noticed a big iceberg that closely resembled a mushroom. Obviously, it caught their attention immediately, because anybody would have been floored by that sighting. There was something else that was even more unbelievable.


Source: cleverclassic.com/ Pinterest

There was some sort of animal on top of the mushroom-like iceberg which appeared to be frightened, and the crew could tell it needed assistance. The crew had no idea what situation they were getting themselves wrapped up into. More importantly, how on earth did a creature like that get all the way on top of an iceberg in the middle of the ocean?

Was The Creature On Top Of The Iceberg A Seal?

The animal that was perched on top of the iceberg was clearly in distress. Initially, the crew thought it was a sea creature (like a seal) which is a marine mammal. But, seals only dwell in mostly cold climates, and, if a seal was truly healthy it wouldn’t have looked so distressed and lost.


Source: lens.gogle.com

If it was a seal, then why didn’t it do what it was born to do and jump into the ocean and find safety? Their webbed flippers are designed for swimming specifically, and it could have saved its life by just diving into the water and searching for its family.

The Poor Creature Was Beyond Lost

The crew realized that what they saw wasn’t even a seal or a sea creature of any kind, because it seemed as though it couldn’t swim. This means that this abandoned creature couldn’t even escape if it tried.


Source: boredpanda.com

It’s quite possible that this poor creature could have been stuck on the iceberg for a while, which meant it was potentially at risk of starving to death. Thank god the Northern Swan crew made sure that didn’t happen!

The Crew Of The Northern Swan Came To The Creature's Rescue

Up to the challenge, the husband-and-wife team Mallory and Cliff, along with Alan, their son, agreed to assist this lost creature. They couldn’t even fathom sailing by it without doing something.

Source: intrepidtravel.com

Unfortunately, rescuing the creature would prove very difficult. It’s quite possible and sad that others could have sailed by the animal due to the challenging nature of the situation. The crew was up for the challenge.


Watch Out For Icebergs...They Are Hazardous!

Remember the sinking of the RMS Titanic? That was a prime and most famous example of icebergs being really dangerous. The Titanic wasn’t the only ship that sank, though. On April 15, 1912, after colliding with an iceberg on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, the White Star Line’s passenger ship sank after crashing into an iceberg.

Source: allposters.com/ Pinterest

Because frozen structures can’t always support themselves, ice chunks are more likely to break off, falling into nearby water. People should try and keep their distance from the area to prevent being struck by falling debris.


A Destination for Iceberg Spotting

Off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, floating icebergs are abundant around those waters. Since their geographical location is in Canada’s most easterly province, it has proved to be the best place for iceberg sightings.

Source: cntraveler.com/ Pinterest

A lot of the icebergs come from outside the region of the Canadian Arctic. 90 percent of the icebergs floating in those parts are due to the glaciers in western Greenland. Canada’s Arctic is responsible for the icebergs that come from the remainder of the glaciers.


Icebergs Are Surprisingly Useful

Regardless of where the icebergs come from, Newfoundland and Labrador have a large amount of them. As a result of their abundance in the area, residents put them to inventive use. Harvesting icebergs that break off Greenland is an emerging industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.


You can drink the water from the icebergs, for example. Companies advertise the purity and low mineral content of iceberg water as big selling points. The price they can sell it for makes it worth the hard work it takes to find, capture, and shatter the ice. This ultra-pure water is also being used to make beer, gin, and vodka, among other alcoholic beverages.


A Massive Iceberg off Ferryland

There was an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador that caused quite a stir in April 2017. According to reports, the iceberg overshadowed the adjacent village of Ferryland, reaching heights of up to 150 feet. The structure was massive, giving the small town a Lovecraftian feel while it loomed over its shores.

shankar s. / Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The mayor of the town was interviewed by The Canadian Press on the matter. “It’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen around here,” the mayor claimed. “It’s a huge iceberg, and it’s in so close that people can get a good photograph of it.”


People Came to See the Berg

People descended on Ferryland in droves to see the 150-foot iceberg that was causing such a stir. Locals from all over Newfoundland gathered in bumper-to-bumper traffic to take pictures of the glacial behemoth, which soon turned into a tourist attraction.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Photographs of the gigantic structure taken from the air have gone viral, sparking widespread curiosity. Helicopter tours were soon offered, allowing people to fly over it and enjoy the most spectacular views. Suddenly, the tiny Canadian community had a global audience.


A Big Year for Icebergs

As a result, icebergs floating into the Northern Atlantic Ocean drew extra attention in 2017. Along with the famous iceberg of Ferryland, many more were spotted. Experts found two possible explanations for the unusually high number of cases that year.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

It’s possible that the bergs were drawn into the area by unusually strong and direct winds. The more alarming theory, though, was that the behemoths had broken away from Greenland’s glaciers as a result of global warming.


More Than a Chunk of Ice

Icebergs are chunks of ice that originate on land and float in a body of water. They can be intriguing to see for a variety of reasons. The formations may include splotches of color, tunnels, and chunks of rock that have been frozen in place.

Eastcott Momatiuk/Getty Images

Creatures have been found trapped and preserved inside floating ice chunks. The Polarstern’s researchers looked at the seafloor beneath where many of the icebergs melted. They discovered species that had been concealed for decades and were able to film and photograph them underwater.


What Was on Top of the Ice?

Now that we understand a little more about what the crew members of the Northern Swan were facing, let’s rejoin them out by that unusual iceberg. When confronted with an iceberg, you never know what you’re going to find. Thus, it is best to stay alert and be careful.

Source: Instagram/malloryharrigan90

As they drew closer to the creature, the crew of the Northern Swan were taken aback. The features of the animal on the iceberg became clearer, and the crew soon realized that the poor creature’s identity wasn’t what they had assumed.


Not a Seal

Harrigan spoke of the emotions they felt in an interview with The Dodo a few days after the shocking incident. “We believed it was a baby seal,” she explained. If not a seal, they figured it would at least be some kind of ocean-going bird or mammal.

Source: Instagram/malloryharrigan90

However, as they got closer, they disproved that theory. The crew had been wrong in their assumptions. It was not a baby seal. Nor was it a sea mammal or a predatory bird from the region. What, then, had the team discovered?


A Little Arctic Fox

The crew members of the Northern Swan were taken aback when they realized the creature they were staring at wasn’t a sea animal at all. It wasn’t a creature you’d expect to encounter out here in the middle of the ocean.

Facebook/Alan Russell

“It was a little Arctic fox,” Harrigan recalled to People magazine. These foxes are native to the far northern reaches of the Northern Hemisphere and call the Arctic tundra home. They are well adapted to cold conditions and can be recognized by their thick, warm fur, which is also utilized for camouflage.


How Did a Fox Get Stuck on an Iceberg?

The Arctic fox is a carnivore that prefers to live inland, away from the beaches and the ocean. In order to survive, they are reliant on the presence of smaller creatures (most commonly lemmings). Burrowing is a common way of life for Arctic foxes.

Source: Rimante_Hegland/Getty Images

That raises the question of how or why an arctic fox ended up stranded on an iceberg in the midst of a freezing sea. Cliff, as Harrigan reported to Bored Panda, had his own ideas on the situation.


The Berg Split Apart

As Harrigan explained, “It had probably been lost out there trying to find something to eat. Cliff believes he went out to look at some meat on the ice when it split apart, sending the little fox sailing out to sea.” 

Source: Instagram/malloryharrigan90

Taking everything into account, Cliff’s hypothesis appears tenable. Maybe when the small fox was trying to hunt for food, the iceberg cracked and sent the poor creature floating far away from the land and its home.


Arctic Foxes Can Withstand the Frigid Climate

Arctic foxes are hardy animals that thrive in climates humans couldn’t handle without plenty of tools, warm clothing, supplies, and survival gear. They’re fine with frigid Arctic temperatures as low as –58°F in the treeless land they call home. 

Source: samchad/Getty Images

Little features like their small ears, furry feet, and pint-sized snouts let them stay warm in temperatures well below zero degrees. However, when the three crew members of the Northern Swan discovered this fox, it appeared to be in serious distress.


The Rescue Operation Began

The little fox appeared to be on the verge of death because it was very malnourished and exposed to extreme cold. The predicament of the animal moved Harrigan and the Russells, but they were hesitant to step in and help.

Source: Facebook/Alan Russell

In addition to the iceberg’s inherent risks, there was also the fact that the fox was an untamable wild animal. They had no idea how it would behave if they approached it all of a sudden. It could very well attack them.


The Fox Refused to Come Aboard

However, the crew was persistent and decided to take action with the aim of saving the little fox’s life. When the boat got close enough to the iceberg, they threw some bait to get the animal to come aboard.

Source: Instagram/malloryharrigan90

However, as Harrigan later recounted to Bored Panda, the animal was apprehensive about abandoning the iceberg in favor of the boat. It seems like the fox was having a hard time trusting the crew and deciding whether it should jump to safety.


A Hard Time

It was difficult to get the fox on board at first since it thought it might be attacked by the humans. The little fox must have been completely perplexed by what was happening to it, especially in light of the fact that it was already suffering.


The group wanted to help, but they were also extremely concerned in case the fox reacted aggressively. It was, after all, a wild animal that could endanger them. So, they had to think through how they could successfully rescue the poor, confused creature.


A Determined Crew

However, the workers put their fears aside and focused on the task at hand. After all, if they abandoned the animal, it would very certainly die, and they could not let that happen to the poor little fox.

Source: Instagram/malloryharrigan90

“We felt we were his only hope of survival because the winds had shifted and were pushing the iceberg farther out to sea,” Harrigan explained to The Dodo. If the crew abandoned the little fox, it would surely die out at sea.


Scooped Out of the Freezing Waters

Despite this, the animal continued to put up a valiant battle. To regain control over the situation, the team had to move quickly. The fox was struggling to avoid getting in the hands of the crew.

Source: Facebook/Mallory Harrigan

Harrigan went into detail about their actions in an interview with People magazine. They had no choice but to bring him into the water and catch him in the dip net. To do this, they had to break off the chunk of ice he was resting on.


A Successful Rescue Effort

The fox struggled mightily once it was submerged in the frigid water, but it eventually ran out of energy. When that moment came, the crew had no problem lifting the small fox aboard as it was not fighting anymore.

Source: Instagram/malloryharrigan90

After that, they constructed a makeshift bed for the injured creature to relax and recoup its energy. The poor fox had lost all his energy due to starvation and struggling for survival. So, it was important for it to get some rest.


The Fox Refused to Eat

In an interview with People, Harrigan described how the fox crawled into a corner and curled into a ball. This may have been because the fox was still afraid of the crew members, or it could have been its way to maintain what body warmth it had left.

Source: Zoo Land/YouTube

The crew offered him chips and crackers and whatever else they could find, but the fox refused to eat for an extended period of time. Of course, this was a problem, as the animal was starving and malnourished, and it needed to eat in order to replenish its energy.


A Worrying Afternoon

The members of the crew were concerned that their rescue efforts might have been in vain since the fox was refusing to eat. In the fox’s world, this was still a strange and dangerous situation. It had no way of knowing what was happening to it. 

Source: Instagram/malloryharrigan90

While first reluctant to use its new sawdust bed, the creature eventually settled in and began to feel more comfortable. It was a relief to see the small fox settling into the makeshift bed prepared by its rescuers.


The Fox Fell Into a Deep Sleep

According to Harrigan, the fox fell asleep almost immediately after curling up in its bed. It must have been sleep-deprived given the situation it was rescued from. The crew could only imagine the stress it suffered when it was stranded on the berg.

Source: Zoo Land/YouTube

For several hours, the little creature was unable to awaken from this deep slumber. That just serves as further evidence of the horrific experiences the fox must have endured on the iceberg. Though it didn’t understand at the time, its horrible ordeal was finally over.


The Fox Finally Ate

The little fox did wake up eventually. As Harrigan described to Bored Panda, this was the time at which it finally consumed some food. It must have been a relief for the crew when the creature finally ate the nourishing food they were offering.

Source: Facebook/Alan Russell

“For the first five or six hours, he wouldn’t eat a thing,” Harrigan said. Despite the crew’s efforts, he refused chips and crackers. When he finally woke up, they gave him a tin of Vienna sausages. Perhaps the little fox just didn’t recognize dry crackers as food! 


They Finally Reached Land

The fox appeared to relax a little after the crew indicated to him that they were only trying to help him. The little guy must have been afraid of the crew at first, which is why he was acting hostile and evasive.

Source: Facebook/Mallory Harrigan

After what seemed like an eternity, the fox managed to get some food and some more sleep, and the crew felt a great sense of relief. After arriving at their port, the crew of the Northern Swan released the little fox on dry land.


The Fox Might Have Been Stranded for Weeks

Although it’s impossible to know for sure how long the little fox had been trapped on the iceberg, his appearance did provide one hint. It was only later that a friend of Harrigan told them that an Arctic fox should have brown fur at this time of year.

Source: Dgwildlife/Getty Images

The little fox’s coat was mostly white, which was an indication of how long he had been out there on top of the iceberg. It could have been weeks, Harrigan explained to People magazine.


White Fur to Brown

During the winter, Arctic foxes grow white coats of fur on their bodies. They have beautiful white (sometimes blue-gray) coats that act as effective winter camouflage. Additionally, it’s an advantageous characteristic because the white fur not only provides camouflage in winter but also adds warmth.

Gannet77/Getty Images

Summertime, on the other hand, causes the fox’s fur to turn brown or gray instead of white to blend in with the summer tundra’s rocks and plants. This allows them to remain hidden once the ice has thawed. It also helps foxes to effectively hunt rodents, birds, and even fish. 


The Arctic Fox and Its Prey

Due to these changes, the Arctic fox is better able to hunt down its summer prey, which may include birds, rodents, and even fish. In the event of a severe winter, however, finding food may prove difficult as food sources become scarce. 

SeppFriedhuber/Getty Images

At these times, the fox might pursue polar bears in the hopes of snatching up some of the bears’ dropped food. They will scavenge for leftovers from the bears’ kills. Furthermore, foxes are known to consume fruits and vegetables if they are readily available – whatever it takes to survive.


Right on Time

As Harrigan said, the Arctic fox became stranded on that iceberg, most likely while on the prowl for some food. It’s likely that the animal was just trying to get by, but he ended up getting into a difficult predicament. 

Source: Instagram/malloryharrigan90

The fox was saved by chance and by good people who just so happened to sail past at the exact right time. We don’t want to imagine what would have happened to the poor little fox if Harrigan and her crew did not see him.


On the Verge of Death

If the crew had not passed by that iceberg at precisely the right moment, the fox would have been stranded at sea, with little chance of returning to land. In the worst-case scenario, the fox would have perished on the ice. 

Source: Instagram/malloryharrigan90

The winds had shifted southwest as well, according to Harrigan. Because of this, he would have merely gone farther out to sea, with his hope of survival diminishing by the minute. We are so happy the crew found him when they did.


A Lucky Little Arctic Fox

In the end, it was luck – and a caring bunch of individuals – that saved the fox’s life. After the fox had been fed, his saviors let him go so that he could run free on the land and get back to living his own life.

Source: VOCMNEWS/YouTube

“We dropped him off in an old doghouse,” Harrigan told The Dodo. “That was it! He just shook himself off!” The fox must have been relieved to finally feel the land beneath his feet again. Hopefully, he enjoyed a few days of rest in that little house. 


Wandering and Free

Long after this eventful day, locals could still spot the fox wandering in the vicinity of where he had been released. In fact, as Harrigan revealed to People magazine, she never had to say goodbye to the animal since she could still see him roaming around the area.


Harrigan said that they still spot him from time to time, chasing tiny creatures and scouting for food. They can visit him anytime as the fox seems to have no desire to leave the area.


A Celebrity Fox

This little Arctic fox has become somewhat of a celebrity as a result of his harrowing experience. News of his rescue spread all over the world, and many people were touched by this incredible story.

Source: VOCMNEWS/YouTube

The news spread all over, despite the fact that the area where he is currently roaming has very limited access to the internet. Local people were in awe to have heard about the rescue of the little fox, but they were even more surprised to learn how famous it made their little town.


Harrigan Is Happy for the Fox

Whatever the case may have been, Harrigan was overjoyed for the little Arctic fox. She was also thrilled that she had a hand in saving him from the iceberg. “He became the buzz of our small neighborhood, but we never anticipated him to create waves around the world!” she said in an interview with People.

Source: Instagram/malloryharrigan90

“We’re pretty pumped up about this,” she added. It is understandable that the crew who saved the poor fox from the iceberg was excited and happy to learn that their story had touched the hearts of many people.


Exploring The Unknown

The Northern Swan crew felt compelled by something- whether it was fear, curiosity, or maybe a little bit of both- to stop and further investigate the “iceberg creature”. In their case it ended up being an Arctic Fox but imagine if they stumbled upon the world’s next big mythical mystery.    


For centuries, tales of mysterious creatures have captured the minds of young and old alike. There is a natural curiosity to seek out the unknown and try and pair it with fact or rational. Whatever the origin or purpose of these mythical creatures and folklore, people seem to be intrinsically drawn to them and we are here to figure out why. Are you a believer?



While many believe that this creature is the missing link between apes and humans, Bigfoot (also known as Sasquatch) is widely considered to be a mythological being. Bigfoot is specific to North American folklore and sightings are most commonly reported in Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.

The State

Bigfoot has been described as being a large, hairy, humanoid-creature, measuring between six and nine feet tall.  A police report was once filed in The Dalles, Oregon. The report stated a group of men saw an “overgrown ape”, and one member of the group spotted the creature through the scope of his rifle, but could not bring himself to shoot it because, “It looked more human than animal”.



Originating from Ireland, the banshee is said to be a female spirit that appears preceding the death of a loved one. The banshee will appear and let out a bloodcurdling wail or shriek to warn family members of the impending disaster.

Villains Wiki

The name banshee comes from the Irish words ‘Bean Si’. Bean Si  women of the fairy mound, which were of large importance in Irish mythology and were dotted all over Ireland. Physical descriptions of a banshee vary, from a one-foot tall old woman wearing a cloak, to a young woman in the family who died at a young age.


Loch Ness Monster

The history of the Loch Ness Monster (also known as Nessie) dates back all the way to the Picts. The Picts were a Celtic group in Late Iron Age Scotland who prevented the Romans from conquering all of Britain by holding their territory. Scottish folklore is full of mythical water creatures, but Nessie remains the most well-known.


In appearance, the Loch Ness Monster is said to resemble a plesiosaur- a water-based dinosaur. Most photographic or eye-witness accounts are considered hoaxes, and the creature is widely assumed to be a myth. However, that does not stop the true believers from trying to catch a glimpse. 



Mermaids have a unique allure that has captivated people throughout history (a Disney classic featuring a red-haired beauty may come to mind). Stories featuring half-human, half-fish creatures can be traced all the way back to ancient Babylon. Mer-men and mer-women have also been featured in Syrian, Polynesian, and Greek mythology.

Atlas Obscura

While some cultures depicted mermaids as beautiful, and whimsical- Irish folklore stated mermaids could transform into human form and marry humans –  sometimes mermaid stories took on a more sinister tone.  It has been said that mermaids were capable of foretelling and bringing about disaster.



Golems are very popular in Jewish folklore. Golems are most often depicted as beings created from inanimate matter such as mud, dirt, or clay. It is said they are then brought to life to serve a specific purpose.

The American Ceramic Society

In some stories, golems are created to defend and protect against antisemitic attacks. Legend reports that golems are uniquely obedient and will follow exact and literal orders, so their creators need to be very careful with what they ask them to do.



Goblins first appeared in Germanic and British mythology. It is reported that goblins are a type of fairy that is hostile in nature, and devious. According to legend goblins vary in their capabilities, physical appearances, and also their overall purpose.

Villains Wiki

Like many other European legends, the exact origin of goblin mythology is not exactly clear. However, one thing that is very clear is that goblins are universally known to be troublemakers and possess qualities that include malice and greed. 



Possibly one of the scarier legends from around the world is the tale of the Pontianak. In Indonesian and Malay mythology, the Pontianak is said to be the spirit of a woman who died while pregnant.


Pontianak is said to be a pale creature with long dark hair and haunting red eyes. While objectively frightening, Pontianak can transform into a beautiful woman in order to prey on men. She is said to appear at the full moon and feast on the bodily organs of her victims.



The bogeyman is said to have been created  for the sole purpose of scaring children into behaving properly and coerce them into good behavior. There are multiple variations of the bogeyman in every culture and it is difficult to pinpoint an exact place of origin. 


Due to the multiple variations of the bogeyman the appearance differs culturally as well. However, the bogeyman is most always depicted with horns, claws, talons, and hooves.



According to Japanese legend, Oni are people who were so truly wicked in their lives that they transformed into demons in their afterlife. It is reported that in some cases some people were even bad enough to warrant the transformation while still alive.

Dead Central

These mammoth scary creatures are covered in blue or red skin, and have large horns and tusks upon their face. Oni are considered servants straight from hell. Oni are said to enact violent punishment on evil-doers and eat just about anything, including humans. 



While leprechauns originated in medieval Irish folklore, they did not become prominent until much later in history. Leprechauns are Irish sprites who, according to legend, grant three wishes to anyone able to catch and secure them.


Leprechauns are small, diminutive human-like beings, and are said to always be male.  Leprechauns are known to be solitary creatures with a love for mischief and practical jokes. However, legends also warn that leprechauns can be sneaky tricksters that should never be fully trusted, and can have a pretty grumpy mean-streak.



Throughout time vampires have taken on many different forms (we are not just referring to them turning into bats). While the legend of vampires originated in Europe most cultures have their own myths and folklore surrounding vampiric creatures that are specific to their region. 

Though their portrayals will vary across cultures few things that remain the same across the board are the fact vampires feed on the living to remain immortal, they avoid garlic/ sunlight, and their hearts are vulnerable to sharp objects.



Fairies, also spelled faerie or faery, are mythical beings originating from Old French medieval (romance) folklore. Fairies are supernatural creatures and are popular across a wide variety of myths, legends, and stories leading up to present day.


Fairies are said to have magical powers and dwell on earth in close relationship with humans. Fairies usually appear as dwarf creatures typically having green clothes and hair. Fairies are said to usually be well-intentioned, a touch mischievous, and overall a protective creature.



When you think of a gnome, you might picture your standard garden gnome- a cute, tiny, cheerful watcher of your flowers. In some cases, this depiction isn’t entirely incorrect.


Gnomes originated in European folklore as dwarfish, subterranean goblins, or earth spirits whose duty was to guard mines of precious treasure hidden deep beneath the earth. Over time myths depicted gnomes as creatures resembling little old men, often with hunched over backs.