Eruption creates new island in Red Sea
December 29th, 2011
02:49 PM ET

Eruption creates new island in Red Sea

The Red Sea appears to have a tiny new island, courtesy of an underwater eruption.

The island essentially lava that cooled after breaking through the water's surface began forming this month between Yemen and Eritrea among the Zubair archipelago, a group of small islands that come from a submarine shield volcano, according to NASA and the Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program.

NASA’s Earth-Observing-1 satellite captured an image (above) showing the new mass with a plume perhaps volcanic ash and water vapor rising from it on December 23, NASA’s Earth Observatory website says. The island appeared to be less than one-third of a mile in diameter, according to the Global Volcanism Program.

The image came four days after local news reports said fishermen saw an eruption in the sea, with lava rising up to 90 feet in the air, according to NASA.

The shield volcano from which the Zubair islands stem (the largest of which is 5 kilometers long) last erupted in the 19th century, according to the Global Volcanism Program.

Wordwide, new islands emerge from volcanic eruptions about once every few years, and not all of them survive beyond three years, because waves can break them apart, GVP volcanologist Rick Wunderman said Thursday. It's not clear whether the new Red Sea island will last, but the material that emerges from the Red Sea typically is more structurally sound than other areas, Wunderman said.

"That's usually the (material) that you see in the Red Sea not so rich in gasses, more able to withstand waves and storms," he said.

People looking for an island getaway might want to keep searching, though. "It'd be hard to live there," Wunderman said. "(Fresh) water, safe harbor, all that kind of stuff would be really quite the challenge."

Wunderman said the central to southern Red Sea has seen plenty of volcanic activity recently, with as many as 10 eruptions in the past five years.

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Filed under: Volcano • Yemen
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Incorrect

    Uhh hate to break it to you V7.0 but you're dead wrong and he probably knows it too. If he's trolling you, ignore him or do nothing.

    1. Revolving IP addresses do mean something. A non-static IP address means court orders are needed and ISP cooperation as well to identify someone.
    2. You can't honestly believe anyone believes you when you say that ominous "WE KNOW WHERE YOU ARE" nonsense. Unless you have a court order and unless a judge agreed with you and if the ISP cooperated, all occurring without the troll knowing, you have no information about them and nobody believes you do.
    3. There is no prosecution for "internet hate crime" or any of that babble you spew. Anyone can be as racist as they want on the internet, it's covered under freedom of speech. Internet related cases are difficult enough as it is, find me one prosecutor that will prosecute racism on the internet and I'll find you a lie. It's hard enough as it is to prosecute internet bullying, if you think ANY prosecutor is going to prosecute for internet hate crimes, (that don't even exist, are not even illegal), you're either incredibly insane or incredibly stupid.

    December 30, 2011 at 6:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Kevin

    Our changing planet.

    December 30, 2011 at 7:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. U-Turn

    The earth farts and everyone wants a piece of the pie!

    December 30, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • pockets

      No god is at work here, going about his creation, fixing things...hahahahahahahah next North Korea. He will produce a volcano in the Square where they all gather...hmmmm now that's an idea....nawwwwwww but you never know.....just sayinnnnn.

      January 1, 2012 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. mr. Myxlptlkx

    You shouldn't eat paint chips, idiot...

    December 30, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. gung hoe

    @INCORRECT I know you and your kind you act like you know all the laws,but.just let me give you a word of warming.If that is you suspect it is take heed that n saidi works for cnn and just for you assuming names you will be barred from cnn.Now hate crimes at the very least you will end up in court.THE CHOICE IS YOURS MR KNOW IT ALL

    December 30, 2011 at 8:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • What a bluffer...

      LOL!

      December 30, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. j

    looks like it does not take million of years to have an islands.

    December 30, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • reality check

      How long did it really take to make this island? It either took less than one second, 4.5 billion years, or 13 billion years, depending on your definition of "make an island."

      It can take less than one second to go from an underwater hill to an island, but you kind of have to start with a planet... and a universe first.

      December 30, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. eh

    Umm... fart fart to you to?

    December 30, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. mdm123

    Unfortunately for the rest of us, even you are allowed to vote in next year's elections

    December 30, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Caihlyn

    I'd like to know what percent of Americans can read an article concerning geological changes in the earth's crust and NOT resort to fart jokes. Scientific literacy is important, but sadly missed, by so many Americans. No wonder our country is being surpassed by other nations who value science, math and education.

    December 30, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • eh

      Sorry, Mr. Fart :(

      December 30, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Now why cant we like science AND fart jokes?

      January 5, 2012 at 4:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Kristin

      "I'd like to know what percent of Americans can read an article concerning geological changes in the earth's crust and NOT resort to fart jokes."

      The percentage that is female. Only males would make reference to farts like this :)

      January 11, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Incorrect is Incorrect

    Nice try, but there is technology that can and will track you. Your sources sound like they are ten years out of date. Further, your information is incorrect about the prosecution of said internet hate crimes. You may not have heard of them because they are generally not known to the general public, it is really too bad that you are spreading misinformation. You are either incredibly näive or incredibly stupid yourself if you truly think you cannot be tracked via your internet activity. I suggest you stop relying on out of date information and start thinking Big Brother; they ARE watching. Sometimes the conspiracy theories are NOT theories.

    December 30, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. bipar

    global warming, sea level rise, ice caps melt, gee i wonder why, maybe it is mother nature doing her thing

    December 30, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • gremlinus

      Would that lead to submerging islands? Global warming is unlikely to affect something that's already few thousand degrees. The Galapagos islands are being formed and eroded all the time.

      December 30, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bipar

    Caihlyn, maybe we should call it " passed gas "

    December 30, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. THE ONE AND ONLY DRAKOREX1

    @TCR2 LICK MY BALLS SUCK MY ASS FU AND YOUR MOTHER YOU RODE IN .OH AND WHEN YOU SEE YOUR DADDYS PIMP TELL HIM I SAID HI, HE OWES ME MONEY AND YOU KNOW IT.

    December 30, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. THE ONE AND ONLY DRAKOREX1

    PLEAESE@TCR2 LICK MY BALLS SUCK MY ASS FU AND YOUR MOTHER YOU RODE IN .OH AND WHEN YOU SEE YOUR DADDYS PIMP TELL HIM I SAID HI, HE OWES ME MONEY AND YOU KNOW IT.

    December 30, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. THE ONE AND ONLY DRAKOREX1

    NOW IF YOU DONT ATTACK ME FOR NO REASON, I WILL NOT GET UP SET. I LIKE HUMOR AND A LITTLE SILLYNESS, BUT DONT ATTACK ME AND I WONT COME UNGLUED.

    December 30, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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