Underwater volcano called Fukutoku-Okanoba that created a new small C-shaped island but the island is already sinking again.
A massive volcanic eruption in Japan has brought to the surface partially sunken WWII battleships and the eerie sight of the ghost ships is evoking the history of one of the bloodiest battles in World War II. The volcanoes have been active and been erupting since August and it was an underwater volcano called Fukutoku-Okanoba that created a new small C-shaped island. The small island was more than half a mile in diameter when it first rose but has now sunk to one-third of its original size. With the island, Fukutoku-Okanoba also pushed up the nearby island of Iwo Jima, and with it sunken wartime vessels, Vice News. Though they were barely visible earlier, now they've come to the surface, and images of the same are going viral online.
WATCH: An undersea volcano and related tectonic activity near the Ogasawara island chain in Japan has raised the island of Iwo Jima, exposing a fleet of partially sunken Second World War ships. pic.twitter.com/Sa2uFdUOqA— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) October 19, 2021
The images released by All Nippon News show 24 transport vessels that were captured by the US Navy during the last days of the war in 1945. The sight of the battleships rising to the surface has caught the frenzy of Japanese social media. The last time a volcano was brought an island up to the surface was 35 years ago. The Japanese Coast Guard addressed the images and said the emerging new islet is actually hardened lava from the submarine volcano, Fukutoku-Okanoba. A large part of the islet sank because it was composed of pumice and volcanic ash, which erodes when exposed to the surrounding elements. Experts believe the island will sink fully as the pumice and volcanic ash erodes further.
The World War II ships that have surfaced are believed to be sunken Japanese ships from the Battle of Iwo Jima. US Marines had killed more than 20,000 Japanese soldiers in the battle, before taking control of the landmass. Americans lost 7,000 soldiers in the battle. The capture of Iwo Jima was aided by its two airfields. The two vessels that have surfaced were used to form a breakwater, to protect harbors from waves. Breakwater is usually a wall of stone or made from wood. The two vessels were used as a breakwater to prepare for the invasion of US troops, reported New York Post.
The sea turns dark grey with pumice, pebbles of volcanic rock with such low density that they float. They say this is coming from an undersea volcano south of Iwo Jima in the Ogasawara Islands, an eruption two months ago and 1400km away. pic.twitter.com/9EanpQqXny— Keishu Asada (@CephWarden) October 18, 2021
Experts predict there could be a big eruption on Iwo Jima. “The discolored sea area has spread to surrounding areas, which indicates that the volcanic activity has not diminished yet,” said Setsuya Nakada, of the Volcano Research Promotion Centre. “There is a possibility of a big eruption on Iwo Jima.” Despite being a small landmass, Japan accounts for 10 percent of the world’s active volcanoes, ones that either erupted in the past 10,000 years or emit volcanic gases.
Mount Suribachi is one of Japan’s most dangerous volcanos and Mount Fuji, one of the country's popular cultural symbols, is due o erupt any time say, experts. Mount Fuji has been dormant for over 300 years. Iwo Jima is uninhabited, barring the Japanese military stationed there since 1968. Japan sits on the so-called Ring of Fire — a long chain of volcanoes and fault lines around the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Last week, Mount Aso, a popular tourist destination, blasted plumes of ash but thankfully, no one was hurt. The Japan Meteorology Agency has warned nearby residents not to approach the volcano. The JMA reported that volcanic ash had blown more than half a mile from the crater and reached a height of about 11,500 feet. According to NASA Earth Observatory, Aso Volcano has been erupting sporadically for decades.