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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.

PHOTOGRAPH BY THE ASAHI SHIMBUN VIA GETTY IMAGES  

Brian Clark Howard

National Geographic

Published January 3, 2014

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.

Regardless of the name, observers online have suggested that aerial photos of the new landmass show it resembles the outline of the classic cartoon character Snoopy.

Twitter user @etienneeshrdlu quipped: "Exactly as Nostradamus predicted. A new Snoopy-shaped island rises from the sea near Tokyo." Twitter user @astralpouch wrote: "Holy crap ... Snoopy island ... I don't care what they say I'm going over there."

The island formed from the action of an underwater volcano, which released billowing smoke, steam, ash, and rocks from an explosive crater. (Watch video.)

In November, Japanese scientists were unsure how long the island would last, as the ocean often reclaims such volcanic islets within a short time.

But last month, Japanese scientists said they expect the island to survive for at least several years, if not permanently.

According to NASA's Earth Observatory, the volcano last erupted in 1973 and 1974.

The new island mass lies about 80 miles (130 kilometers) from the nearest inhabited island. While most people in Japan live on its four large islands, the nation is actually made up of thousands of islands, some of which have been involved in territorial disputes with China.

Follow Brian Clark Howard on Twitter and Google+.

24 comments
shaza el siddig
shaza el siddig

snoopy island? sounds funny...the new one looks like darth vader or maybe chewbacca!!!!


Jeroen Gelsing
Jeroen Gelsing

"Giant Misdreavus has appeared!"

Quick, catch it!

Vintage Mattia
Vintage Mattia

Perhaps this is meant for the people of Japan who wish to escape the cities? Its a whole new world. My view - I saw a pair of eyes.

Sam Nooij
Sam Nooij

How peculiar. There is an island near Japan that looks like a cartoon character, but it is not a manga character. Even if it looks just like Goku! (With a rock on his head. Haha.)

In the newsletter email you can only see the "lower" island and I really thought the article would say it looked like Goku from Dragon Ball Z.

http://i44.tinypic.com/303jvhz.jpg

This picture shows what I mean. Wouldn't you agree with me? Or is my imagination too vivid?

David Judge
David Judge

This is Cool are earth is so amazing..

Graham Beencke
Graham Beencke

It was three times bigger a couple of weeks ago. I hope they leave it nature when it's all over 

Amy Goforth
Amy Goforth

This world never ceases to amaze me! Absolutely amazing!!! 

craig hill
craig hill

Considering both the warlike nature of Japan in stealing islands which are very far from Japan but very near to China, almost just off China's coast, and considering the fact that Fukushima is irradiating and killing all life in the northern Pacific, which is going to spread worldwide, and that the Japanese govt is amazingly brutally not allowing the news of the radiation that's suffusing their rice supply but being fed to their own schoolchildren, among other aspects of life, any of these islands Japan claims in conflict with China, which is NOT acting like Japan in an overreaching Japanese way, should be transferred to China under international law immediately. As it is, Japan will practically have to be abandoned. The govt is buying up land in Burma where they will resettle their elite.


Meanwhile, our govt likewise is censoring all of the above, preferring to let Americans just die from the radioactive plumes circling the globe, as well as censoring the reason Pacific sealife is undergoing death throes AND, wait for this, that there is a Sargasso Sea of cesium 137 CONCENTRATING, not breaking up, moving from Fukushima toward Northern California, due to hit the beaches there early in 2015, currently just north of Hawaii, which is THREE TIMES THE SIZE OF GREAT BRITAIN.


Only once it's too late, the media/Am govt censorship will reveal all. Right now people across the country should be taking small doses of selenium to keep the radioactivity we're all sucking up from settling in the thyroid---that's survivable---and the govt should be disseminating potassium iodide tablets to the population. Look for that to begin in a month or so, about 2 1/2 years too late for many who will die from what we've already ingested into our lungs, our skin and OUR FOOD.


Blame the media-government corporate partnership in both Japan and the US for not sharing our reality with us. Thanks a bleepin lot.


Read all about it:  www.enenews.com

craig hill
craig hill

Considering both the warlike nature of Japan in stealing islands which are very far from Japan but very near to China, almost just off China's coast, and considering the fact that Fukushima is irradiating and killing all life in the northern Pacific, which is going to spread worldwide, and that the Japanese govt is amazingly brutally not allowing the news of the radiation that's suffusing their rice supply but being fed to their own schoolchildren, among other aspects of life, any of these islands Japan claims in conflict with China, which is NOT acting like Japan in an overreaching Japanese way, should be transferred to China under international law immediately. As it is, Japan will practically have to be abandoned. The govt is buying up land in Burma where they will resettle their elite.


Meanwhile, our govt likewise is censoring all of the above, preferring to let Americans just die from the radioactive plumes circling the globe, as well as censoring the reason Pacific sealife is undergoing death throes AND, wait for this, that there is a Sargasso Sea of cesium 137 CONCENTRATING, not breaking up, moving from Fukushima toward Northern California, due to hit the beaches there early in 2015, currently just north of Hawaii, which is THREE TIMES THE SIZE OF GREAT BRITAIN.


Only once it's too late, the media/Am govt censorship will reveal all. Right now people across the country should be taking small doses of selenium to keep the radioactivity we're all sucking up from settling in the thyroid---that's survivable---and the govt should be disseminating potassium iodide tablets to the population. Look for that to begin in a month or so, about 2 1/2 years too late for many who will die from what we've already ingested into our lungs, our skin and OUR FOOD.


Blame the media-government corporate partnership in both Japan and the US for not sharing our reality with us. Thanks a bleepin lot.

James Kenney
James Kenney

Now I understand all the peanut stuff Mike sends me from Japan! :-)

Stephen Aske
Stephen Aske

Uninhabited. Sounds like a great NG part time project to me. How long will it take? GO FOR IT NG!!

Joe Roth
Joe Roth

I see Snoopy twice in this pic.  Do you?

Henry B
Henry B

I'm pretty sure a man in Japan bought the Senkaku islands fairly and now all of a sudden China wants it to be greedy. The senkaku islands have been in Japanese sea borders for a long time and out of nowhere China extends its borderline right above theirs. If we had houses and I was your neighbor and declared your entire front, back, side yard are now mine except your house and put a fence up just to be an a**hole. You'd be pissed! You bought the land. Why should I just take it? It's an act of war against you.

The rest I agree with you though. They always wait till at least hundreds, thousands maybe to die to provide a cure. Few traces of radiation have even been found in new York seas and that's literally the other side of earth give or take a couple miles (11hr time frame). But nobody knows as the media never say anything besides the fact that some d*** head celebrity did this and that.

Now one thing I'm not so sure about bc this s****y American school system isn't even worth anything, thought me nothing but bull****. My question is. When USA nuked Japan twice, was there and damage done to us too? If not then the radiation from the nuclear plant in Japan shouldn't affect us much. If not China is even worse off then us.

Daniel Baker
Daniel Baker

I don't know where you get your information from - but nobody has  died as a result of radiation from Fukushima - furthemore given what is known about the dangers from radiation, there is little reason to suspect that they would (even Chernobyl , the worst nuclear accident ever caused fewer than 100 proven deaths, which is less than many accidents in fossil fuel extraction).

Far from playing down the dangers of nuclear, the problem is that they are too often exagerated, while we are too casual about dangers from fossil fuels. These are proven to damage health and the enironment but we continue to favour them over nuclear, which is the less harmful opiton

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