A volcanic island recently formed off the coast of Tokyo has merged with the neighbouring uninhabited island of Nishino-Shima, taking on a cartoonish appearance as it does so.
A newly formed island located within the world’s most seismically active region has become an unlikely internet phenomenon after eagle-eyed social media users pointed out the island startling resemblance to one of the most recognizable cartoon characters in the world –Snoopy the Dog.
Regular readers of Private Island News may well remember recent reports of a brand new island which suddenly emerged from the depths of Japan’s Ogasawara Archipelago (approx. 1,000 km due south of Tokyo) following an underwater volcanic eruption located along the western tip of the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Despite being discovered 3 months ago, it was only in December that the incredible similarity came to light. Expanding to 8 times its initial size, the island began to merge with its neighbour, matching the profile outline (right down to the strip of volcanically-discoloured water making up his collar) of Charles M. Schulz’s most famous cartoon creation in the process. But is the island here to stay?
During initial investigations, scientists expressed caution whilst predicting the island’s longevity, citing several other newly formed islands, such as those recently formed off of Pakistan and in the Red Sea, and which disappeared almost just as quickly as they were formed. Since then, however, more research has been carried out, painting a different picture entirely.
According to Professor Fukashi Maeno, a seismology expert at the University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute, all the signs currently point towards a long-term future for the island, with more optimistic reports even going on to suggest that as the landmass joins forces with neighbouring Nishino-Shima it could even become a permanent fixture within the ever-changing Pacific seascape.
The volcano responsible for this cute island doppelgänger remains highly active and continues to pump magma to the surface, raising the possibility that the island will fail to retain its unusual shape. Only time will tell however – keep your eyes peeled on the Private Island News page or check out these cool NASA satellite images to see the changes for yourself.