October 30. Iwoto Coast (formerly known as Iwo Jima). Japanese authorities record an earthquake. An eruption, perhaps. Nothing new in the land of the rising sun, a fault-crossed country that lies on “the Pacific Ring of Fire,” right where the Pacific plate collides with the Eurasian plate.
However, it was no ordinary earthquake. It was a mass of mud, smoke, ash and dirty water. In other words, an island.
Thus an island is born. In less than 10 days, ash and rocks were piling up on the bed (a shallow bed) and the tip of the volcano emerged from the waters. According to the volcanic division of the Japan Meteorological Agency, it would have an area of 100 square meters and a height of 20 meters above sea level.
This is quite surprising, because (although the Japanese archipelago is made up of more than 14,000 islands) it is not every day that a new one is born. What’s more, it’s not every day that the birth of an island is filmed.
The video. To get the video, the Earthquake Research Institute of the University of Tokyo sent Fumashi Maeno to fly over the area and record the process on video.
The fascinating world of volcanic islands. Fukashi Maeno explained that he had been able to confirm that the new island was the product of two fratomagmatic eruptions; that is, a type of explosive eruption that is generated when magma interacts with water.
That makes the video mind-blowing, but the news is bittersweet.
The fascinating story of the island that refuses to die and that has NASA researchers amazed.
The fascinating story of the island that refuses to die and has NASA researchers amazed.
The youngest island in the world. That would certainly be the title it would hold. However, this type of islands (which are not formed by lava, but by other volcanic materials) do not always last long because they are very exposed to waves and “crumble” easily.
There is solid evidence. In the area, islands were formed in 1986, 1904 and 1914; but they disappeared due to erosion. In fact, as volcanic activity has decreased, the size of the island has decreased as well. A sign that erosion processes are underway.
However, Maeno clarifies that nothing is decided. The island could “disappear under the waves,” but it could also “grow larger and change shape if the eruptions continue.” So while the forces of nature make up their minds, we have a mind-blowing video.