Surtsey Still Surprises

Formed by a volcanic eruption in 1963, the Island of Surtsey, near Iceland, has intrigued scientists because it looks like landscapes most think are much older. According to a New Scientist article, the Island has excited geographers, who marveled at canyons, gullies and other land features that usually take tens of thousands or millions of years to form were created in less than a decade.

Biologists have also marveled at how quickly plants, animals and birds have colonized the island. The Icelandic institute of natural history put it his way, "We now have a fully functional ecosystem on Surtsey."

If you were to visit Surtsey and were unaware it was less than fifty years old, I wonder how old you imagine it to be? The next time you hear that a particular landscape took millions of years to form, remember the Island of Surtsey, because things can look much older than they really are.

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