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. Brigadier Crawypaws

    Just saw the video above, very good!
    " you can take God out of America...but you can take God out of me"
    Please do look at this video, 1:38 of your time

    December 29, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tcr c2

    @compagyeslo , sure but eve is still mine mine mine?

    December 29, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tcr c2

    @compagyeslo , sure but eve is still mine mine mine!!!

    December 29, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tcr c2

    Ha i change my name quite frequently to avoid trollers so shes still mine!

    December 29, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tcr c2

    @drakorex I, youve been WARNED!! Stop we do like you but your still an idiot, that little chip must of slipped out of place it was given to you because it carries all you can handle, .00000001 bites thats why your burnt sounding

    December 29, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Quid Malmborg in Plano TX

    Really??? New land is being created??? But I thought all the land on Earth was created 6,000 years ago just like the Bible says. I guess that means that the "Bible" is WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!

    December 29, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. whodat?o,medat!

    What? Is there a purpose to this thread other than practice ads for Craigslist for, um, strange services?

    December 29, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gung hoe

    @plano tx I guess that you are proof of the old saying,that all that comes is steers and fools with you being the latter.So ummm fool just where do you think that the land came from outer space and even if that was so god created everything in the universe,so try a different theory texas fool.Because the bible is correct and tried to be proven incorrect by alot smarter people than you texass fool

    December 30, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. whodat?o,medat!

    So, this new island came from God?

    December 30, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  10. gung hoe

    Awww come on tcr c2 dont stop now they cant stop you!yot have freedom of speech and you know how much you HATE BLACKS ! dont let that poster stop you,you have rights!

    December 30, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. gung hoe

    @medat all good things come from god so probably I Am not a rogue schalor. But I would say yes. For god made everything on heaven and earth!What whem a child is born and a person says and probably when you was born that the parents received a gift from god.What do you think thats just a nifty saying?

    December 30, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  12. whodat?o,medat!

    I came from my mom and dad. No one else. I'm not saying that God doesn't exist, but I'm not saying that he does, either. Woth all the bs going on in the world today, ya just think he decided to make an island? Bull sh!t. And TCR C2 isn't racist, either. He's been trolled just like you. Shut up. Please!!!!!

    December 30, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  13. whodat?o,medat!

    And you've got to mean Rhoads scholar, and yep, ur right!

    December 30, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. gung hoe

    @medat I didnt say I was a Idiot either now if you want to sling mud go right agead.OK i misspelled Rhoads.To my knowledge I dont know who you are never heard of Hell as far as I know you could be philly no ur not him hes smart.And as far as that tcr poster dah what ya think cnn wont know if thats a troll or not why you think you have your e mail to get on here but its getting late on the east cnast so you want to sling crap lets do it today oh like I SAID PHILLYS SMART NOT YOU. J ust one more thing you didnt come from either your mom or dad, pretty sure you came outta a chikens rear end.PS wanta sling more crap

    December 30, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tcr c2

    @ nicole saidi could you please get in touch with me once again through email contact and leave easy access to you this is important regarding accusations against me on making racist remarks id really appreciate it very much thank you!!! Contact me at kljohnson**** thank you ill be waiting for this correspondence

    December 30, 2011 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
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