Strange New Island Rises Up From Arabian Sea After Earthquake

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Sept. 25 2013 12:32 PM

Strange New Island Rises Up From Arabian Sea After Earthquake

Island off of Pakistan's Gwadar coastline
The island above seems to have risen from the sea off Pakistan's Gwadar coastline following an earthquake hundreds of miles away. Scientists say it may be the product of a "mud volcano" or a "rotational landslide."

Photo by Stringer/Reuters

The deadly earthquake that hit Pakistan on Tuesday was so powerful that it appears to have created a new island—or something.

The quake, whose epicenter was inland, propelled some type of land formation to rise clean out of the water some 320 miles away, about a third of a mile off of Pakistan's Gwadar coastline, Reuters reported:

Television channels showed images of a stretch of rocky terrain rising above the sea level, with a crowd of bewildered people gathering on the shore to witness the rare phenomenon.
Advertisement

The island is said to be about 20 to 40 feet high and 100 feet long. Photos showed amazed locals milling around on top of it.

Don't expect it to stick around forever, though. Experts told NBC News it would be highly improbable for an earthquake to cause the actual seabed to rise up so far from its epicenter. Rather, the formation may be the result of a "mud volcano"—a "jet of mud, sand and water that gushed to the surface as the temblor churned and pressurized that slurry under the ocean floor." Local residents told the network they saw a similar island appear off the coast following a 1968 earthquake, then sink out of sight a year later.

But one geologist told Yahoo News the formation could also be a result of a "rotational landslide" rather than a mud volcano. We likely won't know for sure until scientists get a chance to study the thing more closely.

People explore new island off of Pakistan's Gwadar coastline
People walk around on the weird island-type thing that rose from the sea following the Pakistan earthquake.

Stringer/Reuters

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

How Did the Royals Win Despite Bunting So Many Times? Bunting Is a Terrible Strategy.

Catacombs Where You Can Stroll Down Hallways Lined With Corpses

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.

Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Trending News Channel
Oct. 1 2014 1:25 PM Japanese Cheerleader Robots Balance and Roll Around on Balls
  News & Politics
Crime
Oct. 1 2014 4:15 PM The Trials of White Boy Rick A Detroit crime legend, the FBI, and the ugliness of the war on drugs.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 3:02 PM The Best Show of the Summer Is Getting a Second Season
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 4:46 PM Ebola Is No Measles. That’s a Good Thing. Comparing this virus to scourges of the past gives us hope that we can slow it down.
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?