Thursday, 21st November 2013
In General Japan News,
New island forming off Japan coast
A new volcanic island has been spotted off the coast of Japan, with the country's navy reporting explosive interaction with seawater and lava at around 10 o'clock this morning 10am local time.
The landmass is already 200 metres in diameter, suggesting the vent causing the island is located in relatively shallow waters, with the lava generating a plume of white smoke rising around 600 metres into the air.
Volcanic islands are formed when the earth's plates shift, exposing molten hot magma to the cold sea and creating an ever-building vent that is formed from layer upon layer of lava until it reaches the surface.
Japan already claims a plethora of islands as its own, with the new arrival located near the Nishino-shima volcanic island in the northern Pacific ocean.
Some of these are suitable for habitation and visitation from tourists, while others are desolate and isolated.
Popular destinations off the coast of Japan include Tashirojima, which has become a favourite with overseas visitors for the extraordinary number of cats that roam across it. The moggies are well-fed by the locals who believe they bring good luck, and receive regular check-ups from a vet.
Shikoku, the fourth largest island of Japan, is also a common destination, with many people arriving on its shores to sample local sake festivals and onsen opportunities. It is connected to the mainland via a bridge that can be crossed by train and also has two small airports.
Whether this new volcanic island will be habitable or not remains to be seen, with the size and eventual formation of water sources being a crucial factor for whether people will be able to settle.
However, it may well be that tourists are eventually exploring sacred sites and shrines on this island as well in a mere few hundred years.
Written by Mark Smith