Until late this month, the Red Sea north of Rugged Island was glassy and clear — and then a new island emerged almost overnight. Yes, that smoking mass of land above is an infant isle, formed by a volcanic eruption. Fishermen off the coast of Yemen witnessed lava fountains 90 feet (30 meters) tall on December 19, 2011; by December 23, what had once been unbroken water surface was now a new chunk of land. The plume in the photo, captured by NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite, is likely a mix of volcanic ash and water vapor. The new island is part of the Zubair Group, a line of islands arising from a shield volcano under the Red Sea. In this area, the Red Sea Rift, the African and Arabian tectonic plates are slowly pulling apart, and new ocean crust regularly forms

Until late this month, the Red Sea north of Rugged Island was glassy and clear — and then a new island emerged almost overnight. Yes, that smoking mass of land above is an infant isle, formed by a volcanic eruption. Fishermen off the coast of Yemen witnessed lava fountains 90 feet (30 meters) tall on December 19, 2011; by December 23, what had once been unbroken water surface was now a new chunk of land. 

The plume in the photo, captured by NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite, is likely a mix of volcanic ash and water vapor. The new island is part of the Zubair Group, a line of islands arising from a shield volcano under the Red Sea. In this area, the Red Sea Rift, the African and Arabian tectonic plates are slowly pulling apart, and new ocean crust regularly forms

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    /2012! Carl Sagan
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    Do you think Mother Nature just woke up one day and was all, “I’m in the mood for a new island!” or what?
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