Thursday, November 09, 2023
As people around the world raise concerns over rapidly sinking islands due to rising sea levels, the Earth just gave us a whole new one to explore.
The Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) has confirmed that a new island has been formed by an undersea volcanic eruption off the coast of Iwo Jima in the Pacific Ocean.
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force captured images of the island rising out of the water on November 1.
The tiny island, which is now a part of the Ogasawara Island chain, is seen with a small eruption that sent a dark cloud of ash above it, CNN reported.
Although the JMA has been monitoring the region for volcanic activity since last year, the University of Tokyo's Earthquake Research Institute confirmed the island-forming eruption occurred on October 30.
This week, the Japan Times was informed by Setsuya Nakada, an emeritus professor of volcanology at the University of Tokyo, that magma had been accumulating beneath the surface for some time prior to finally bubbling to the surface.
The island sits about 1,200 kilometres (750 miles) south of mainland Japan and a kilometre from Iwo Jima, the island that saw some of the fiercest battles of World War II in the Pacific.
US Marines fought tens of thousands of Japanese garrisoned there in a battle that killed more than 7,000 Americans and 22,000 Japanese troops.
While it gains new islands, Japan occasionally loses them.
According to The Guardian, an island named Esanbe Hanakita Kojima, which was located 500 metres off the coast of Hokkaido, is thought to have slipped beneath the waves unnoticed in 2018.
"No one realised it had disappeared until the author Hiroshi Shimizu visited the area to write a sequel to his picture book on Japan’s “hidden” islands," the publication reported.