An undersea volcanic eruption on Wednesday raised a tiny, new islet some 620 miles of
Tokyo, Japan.

The Japanese coast guard has confirmed the birth of the new island. The new islet is
about 200 meters (660 feet) in diameter and is located just off the coast of
Nishinoshima, an uninhabited island in the Ogasawara chain, The Associated Press
The Ogasawara Islands consists of 30 islets of various sizes scattered in the Pacific
Ocean. These islands were formed by underwater volcanic eruptions. These islands
have never been connected to any continent and so have many native creatures.
Japan's coastguard said that it has warned vessels to navigate carefully around the chain
of islands as the volcano is billowing large amounts of ash and smoke.
"Smoke is still rising from the volcanic island, and we issued a navigation warning to
say that this island has emerged with ash falling in the area," said a spokesman for the
maritime agency, AFP reported.

Earthquake experts aren't sure if the islet will withstand erosion. If it does, then Japan
can hope to expand its presence in the Pacific. The country has regular territory
disputes with its neighbors- China and South Korea.

"If it becomes a full-fledged island, we would be happy to have more territory,"
governmental spokesman Yoshihide Suga said, according to Russia Today.

Recently, Pakistan too had witnessed birth of an island from the ocean offshore of the
city of Gwadar, after a 7.7 earthquake hit the country. This mound was about 20 to 40
feet (6 to 12 meters) high and 100 feet (30 m) wide. Scientists believe that the mound
in Pakistan could be a mud volcano.
How Ida Solved the Puzzle
Quiz #437 Results
Bookmark and Share
Answer to Quiz #437 - April 27, 2014
1. About what date (within a month) was this photo taken?
2. What are the GPS coordinates of the little island?
3. What is the name of the little island?
TinEye Advisory
You can find this photo on,
but the quiz will be a lot more fun if you solve the puzzle on your own.
Comments from Our Readers
I searched for volcanic activity forming a new island.  That brought me to an article
published in the UKs Daily Mail on November 21, 2013.  The article included a
cropped version of the same photo.  It stated that the eruption started on
Wednesday.  That would be the 20th.  The new island was off the coast of
Nishino-shima, Japan.  By December 2013 its land mass had merged with
Nishino-shima.  The new island was provisionally named Niijima.  Darn, The middle
of nowhere doesnt count for GPS coordinates.  The best Im coming up with is in
the neighborhood of 271449.67N, 1405234.13E.  But that puts it about 8,000 under
the sea according to Google Earth.
Carol Farrant
N.B. Too bad that Google Earth doesn't have great coverage for the Indian
Ocean.  If they did, they could have told us what happened to the Malaysian
Airplane. - Q.- Gen.
Funny thing - I never even heard about that on the news!!
Elaine E. Hebert
N.B. - Well with all the other news - missing jetliner - Korean Ferry Capsizing,
and everything else that's happened in the last year, it's not surprising they
haven't broadcast a live update on the baby island. - Q. Gen.
I solved this quiz by using Google and Google Earth.
Jim Baker
This makes me think about a recent trip we had to Kawaii, Hawaii.  People there
are all bound up over the presence of "non-native" species of plants.  
Hawaii was formed just like this island.  As such, there are no native
was a pile of rocks and ash just like this island.  Everything growing on Kawaii was
came from somewhere else...brought by the tide, birds, or people over the last
500,000 years. my soap box now.
Forgot to Give Name
When I was looking for the answer to this quiz, I couldn't help but think about the
shoes along side the river in Budapest in a previous quiz.  We could see those shoes
from space but not a whole island!  I guess there isn't too much to see in the middle
of the Pacific, so why waste the time...but, yes, it would be wonderful if they
knew where the plane was.
Carol Farrant
As usual I have a Mexican story to relate to (me and my big country!). The
Paricutín Vulcano surfaced almost overnight. Within weeks it had reached its final
height and died soon after. I was not born when it happened, but did visit the
remains of the town and saw the church tower. This Japanese island surfacing is a
very similar situation.
Ida Sanchez Tello
The Hawaiian  island have a very interesting history. The undersea mounts show
how plate tectonics moved over a hot spot in the earth's crust and left the history of
the plate movements.
Tom Collins
The name depended not only who you talked to but when. It was unnamed Nov
21.By Dec it was here to stay and needed a name. The two volcanoes are off the
same seamount. The latest one may grow over it's neighbor so that all of nishino
shima came from Niijima. Which then be its own Island called nishino shima.

The Hawaiian plate is moving westward and a submerged seamount is just waiting
for it's time to come.
Arthur Hartwell
Hope you don't run into any volcanos popping up along the way, like in that LA
movie. Our most famous one, Mount Saint Helens, put up quite a display on May
18, 1981. From atop the old cinder cone of Mount Tabor in Portland, Oregon you
could see the several miles wide black plume of smoke and ash arising thousands of
feet in the atmosphere.
Mike Dalton
Congratulations to Our Winners!

Margaret Paxton                Ida Sanchez
Diane Scannell                Janice Sellers
Carol Farrant                Elaine C. Hebert
Gus Marsh                Dennis Brann
Ellen Welker                Tom Collins
Jim Baker                Steve White
Forgot to Give Name                Donna Jolley
Kim Richardson                Mike Dalton
Arthur Hartwell                Cindy Costigan
Diane Abbott                Winnifred Evans
Judy Pfaff                Diane Burkett
Tynan Peterson                Rebecca Bare
Marcelle Comeau                Owen Blevins
Sally Garrison                Dan Thimgan

Grace Hertz and Mary Turner
Team Fletcher!
If you have a picture you'd like us to feature a picture in a future quiz, please
email it to us at If we use it, you will receive a free analysis of
your picture. You will also receive a free
Forensic Genealogy CD or a 10%
discount towards the purchase of the
Forensic Genealogy book.
If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
!-- Start Quantcast tag -->
1.   20 November 2013
2.   27 degs 14 mins 49 secs N
140 degs 52 mins 28 secs E
3.  It doesn't have its own name. Nishino-shima is the name of the larger
island.  Since the little island has joined with the larger one, convention
dictates that the older name should be used for the enlarged island.
Googled "baby island volcano" and took it from there.

The coordinates were hard, since there is a much bigger island south
of Tokyo that is also named Niijima and the Nat Geo article that did
mention the coordinates only had them to the minute but not the
second. Googled Nishino-shima in the maps and clicked on the link,
that gives the exact coordinates shown above (in decimals), which is
in minutes and seconds 27 20 min 32.9778 sec, 140 52 min 0.1164

Ida Sanchez
Volcanic activity along the
western edge of the Pacific “Ring
of Fire” gave rise to a tiny island
in late November 2013. Located
in the Ogasawara Islands, part of
the Volcano Islands arc, the new
islet sits about 1,000 kilometers
(600 miles) south of Tokyo in
waters considered part of
Japanese territory.

The Advanced Land Imager
(ALI) on NASA’s Earth
Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite
captured this natural-color image
on December 8, 2013. The water
around the island is discolored by
volcanic minerals and gases and
by seafloor sediment stirred up by
December 8, 2013
December 13, 2013
December 1, 2013
December 24, 2013
Ongoing eruptions
have caused the
new island to grow,
and the two islands
may soon fuse into

The Advanced Land
Imager (ALI) on
NASA’s Earth
Observing-1 (EO-1)
satellite captured
this natural-color
image of the islands
on December 24,
2013. Only a
narrow channel of
water appeared to separate the two. The water around the islands was discolored by
volcanic minerals and gases, as well as by seafloor sediment stirred up by the ongoing
eruption. A faint plume, likely steam and other volcanic gases associated with the
eruption, extended away from the new island to the southeast.

Infrared imagery from the same satellite showed intense heat from the fresh lava,
which was continuing to come to the surface and build the island as of December 24,
the ongoing volcanic eruption. The faint white puffs above the center and southwest
portion of the island are likely steam and other volcanic gases associated with the

The new island (or “Niijima” in Japanese), rose up out of the sea during a volcanic
eruption first reported on November 20, 2013. The new island sits about 500 meters
from Nishino-shima, another volcanic island that last erupted and expanded in 1973–74.
The two islands are located at approximately 27°14’ North latitude and 140°52’ East
longitude, about 130 kilometers (80 miles) from the nearest inhabited island.
In the first few days after the eruption, scientists speculated that the new island might
not last. New formations like those recently formed off of Pakistan and in the Red Sea
can naturally sink back below the water line as they are eroded by wave action that
carries away loose sediment, mud, and tephra (volcanic rock fragments). Some
subsidence can also occur from the simple weight of gravity and the cooling of the hot

But according to news reports, the new island is still erupting and growing. Scientists
from the Japan Meteorological Agency think the island is large enough to survive for at
least several years, if not permanently. By early December, it had grown to 56,000
square meters (13.8 acres), about three times its initial size. It stands 20 to 25 meters
above the sea level.

Below are two aerial photographs taken by the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) on December
1 (top) and December 13, 2013. The JCG also shot some video clips that you can see
When Two Become One
New islet from volcanic eruption melds itself to nearby island
Japan Daily Press, December 27, 2013
Not only does the new islet that came out
of a volcanic eruption seems to not be
going away, it looks like it’s attaching
itself to other land masses in the area.
According to the Japan Coast Guard on
Thursday, the islet has merged at two
points with Nishino-shima, a volcanic
island that is part of the Ogasawara
(Bonin) chain.

Located 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo,
the uninhabited island is estimated to be
10 million years old. Meanwhile, the islet
has been slowly growing in mass since it
was first spotted last November 20. It is
now 450 meters from east to west, and
500 meters from north to south, and
occupying ground space of 0.06 square
miles. It also has two craters that have
been erupting every 30-60 seconds. The
coast guard also says it has been spewing
brown smoke 100 meters high, with pale
volcanic gas and ash-grey smoke coming
out as well.

According to Kenji Nogami, a geology
professor at the Tokyo Institute of
Technology, “The amount of volcanic
smoke has apparently grown with a
continuous flow of lava.” He also said,
from his vantage view on a plane, that the
magma from the deep subsurface has also
been increasing. During the 70s and 80s,
similar volcanic eruptions also produced islets in Japan’s territorial waters. However,
they have since been submerged in the ocean once again, either totally or partially. This
is why the new islet still hasn’t been officially named or claimed by the government.
Volcanic eruption creates new island in Japan
Scientists believe that the islet which rose
up from the waters off the coast of Japan
due to a volcanic eruption last month may
become a permanent fixture, at least for
now. The small island, 1,000 kilometers
south of Tokyo in the Ogasawara island
chain, has been growing since it first
appeared and is now three-and-a-half
times its original size as of December 4.
Islet on Japanese coast created by volcanic eruption expected to
remain for several years

Japan Daily Press, December 10, 2013
When it first appeared last November 24, the Japan Coast Guard said that it was still
too early to tell if the island would not eventually disappear once the underwater
volcanic eruption is done. But now the Japan Meteorological Agency says it looks like
the island will be here for a while and will not disappear in the next few weeks or
maybe even years. However they cannot give yet a clear estimate because the volcanic
eruption is still ongoing and there is still the possibility that a stronger eruption can blow
apart the islet. Agency official Tomoyuki Kano said that they are still seeing wisps of
smoke and volcanic ash coming out of the islet and there is even lava coming out every
once in a while, so it might still continue to grow.

During the 70s and 80s, similar eruptions also created small land masses, but eventually
they were eaten up by the ocean. The new islet is located in uncontested waters, but
due to the ongoing territorial disputes, including the one with China over the
Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea, several ministers made quips about the
expansion of Japan’s territory because of this new development. Chief Cabinet
secretary Yoshihide Suga said that “if it becomes a full-fledged island, we would be
happy to have more territory.”
For more information on volcanic island formation,
please see

Natural History: Island Formation