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

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Uh-Oh. The World’s Oceans Have Broken Their All-Time Heat Record.

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

The NFL Should Lose Its Tax-Exempt Status, Which It Never Should Have Had Anyway

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 18 2014 6:52 PM Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters  Colorado Democrats and Republicans are testing theories for reaching women that will resonate far beyond the Rocky Mountains.  
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
Outward
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.