This Tiny Volcanic Island Is the Ultimate Natural Laboratory

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Atlas Obscura

October 18, 2017

A PLUME OF STEAM AND ash burst suddenly from the North Atlantic Ocean on November 14, 1963, and for the next three-and-a-half years, a series of eruptions produced a new island of basalt and ash about 20 miles from Icelands’s southern coast. The new speck of land was dubbed Surtsey Island, after a black fire giant of Norse mythology. Today, it’s one of the few places on Earth that has remained relatively pristine and untouched by humans.

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Image: NOAA/Public Domain

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