Frozen in time: Swiss couple just one of many findings revealed by melting ice

Two frozen bodies uncovered in the Swiss Alps this week are only the latest secret shrinking glaciers around the world have given up.

Ice has entombed — and then returned — numerous objects over the years, ranging in size from dormant bacteria to warplane wreckage.

The items are often perfectly preserved, as was the case with this week's glacial discovery: A couple who had gone out to the meadow outside their Swiss home to milk cows 75 years ago — and never came back.

Cold, dark, and oxygen-starved, the depths of glaciers are equivalent to the "sci-fi of cryo-preservation in nature," said Dr. Twila Moon, a research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

"The ice can be both this great tool of preservation, but it can also do funny things to pull apart and warp large objects especially," like aircraft, Moon told NBC News.

Either way, more and more such discoveries are likely to surface in coming years due to climate change, she said.

"There's really no question," Moon said. "It's a simple function of ice loss, and, unfortunately, just as you bring ice into your freezer and put it into your glass of water or hold it in the warm air, it's the very same experiment that we're doing on a global scale."

Here are notable icy findings from recent decades: