Monday, January 6, 2014

Japan's Newest Island Is Now Eight Times Bigger

Volcanic island merged with neighbor and resembles cartoon character Snoopy. 

In this aerial image, a new islet (bottom) is seen connected with Nishinoshima island on December 25, 2013 in Ogasawara, Tokyo, Japan. With the new islet merging with the existing Nishinoshima island, there is little possibility it will be named as a separate entity.  

In this aerial image taken December 25, a new islet (bottom) is seen connected with the existing Nishino Shima island off Japan.

Japan's newest island keeps on growing, and it has now taken on a cartoonish look.

Previously called Niijima, the volcanic island that first broke above the Pacific Ocean on November 20 has merged with a neighboring uninhabited island called Nishino Shima as it continues to expand.

The small volcanic island sits about 600 miles (970 kilometers) south of Tokyo in Japanese waters, part of a chain of about 30 small islands called the Bonin Islands, or the Ogasawara chain.

The newest island is now about eight times bigger than it was when it first emerged. On November 20, it was about 1,640 feet (500 meters) off Nishino Shima, but the two islands have joined together, their growing connection marked by a narrow pool of reddish seawater.

Since the name Nishino Shima predates the newest part of the island, convention dictates sticking with that name for the combined landmass.

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