There is something new brewing in the Red Sea. Something amazing. It may give future travelers somewhere new to set foot on, and it will make your current Atlas useless. Volcanic activity in the Red Sea is forming a new island in the Zubair archipelago as lava is cooled by the surrounding seawater and hardens and solidifies. The underwater volcano creating this is located on the Red Sea Rift, where the African and Arabian tectonic plates are moving away from each other.
Some unsuspecting Yemeni fishermen spotted lava shooting 30 meters (98 feet) into the air on December 19th and this was later confirmed by satellite. (I find it amazing and fitting that some humans were on hand to actually witness this event.) The image seen above is from NASA’s Earth Observing One satellite. Elevated levels of sulfur dioxide in the region were also recorded by NASA’s Aura satellite, using its Ozone Monitoring Instrument.
The mass of lava had broken the water’s surface by December 23 and the new island began to shape itself as nature continued its lava cooking/cooling process. Right now this new island is about 500 meters wide and growing. At this point, we don’t know if it is here to stay or not. It could grow more or it may be broken up by waves.
Volcanic activity in the area appears to be rising, so who knows, we may even see another small island appear in due time.