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Earth, Strange

Entire Island of Esanbehanakitakojima Vanishes

How does a whole island vanish? By the time you pronounce the first half of its long name, the island of Esanbehanakitakojima will have disappeared, from satellite map images at least. Was the island digitally errased? Is it also physically gone? It may be small and uninhabited, but it matters to Japan. Japanese officials named it Esanbe Hanakita Kojima four years ago. It was well known to local fishermen clear of it. Marine charts going back 30 years listed it as being about 1.5 meters above sea level.

… Island well-known by fishermen “Around a decade from 1975, there was a small island around there, and we stayed clear of the area,” an elderly fisherman told national Japanese newspaper – Asahi Shimbun .

The island should be visible from beaches near Sarufutsu village near the northern tip of Hokkaido. Via Starct

According to Google translate, the lost Island’s name is pronounced (E-san be Hana kita koji ma).

… Esanbe Hanakita Kojima made news after seemingly vanishing. Located approximately 500 meters from a small village called Sarufutsu, towards the northern end of the island of Hokkaido, the islet is one of the 158 uninhabited land masses in 22 prefectures given names by the Japanese government in 2014.

The islet’s absence was recognized by Hiroshi Shimizu, author of “Hito-zukan,” a picture book on hidden islands, who made note of its disappearance after traveling to the area for inspiration.

The disappearance of a Japanese uninhabited island has caused conspiracy theorists to believe it hasn’t simply gone underwater, but has instead just been deleted from satellite images.

The uninhabited islet of Esanbehanakitakojima was used to delineate Japan’s territorial waters. According to the Japan Coast Guard, Esanbehanakitakojima was surveyed in 1987 and it was recorded as being just 1.4m above sea level. Tomoo Fujii, a senior official of the coast guard, told reporters: “There is a possibility that the islet has been eroded by wind and snow and, as a result, disappeared.”

It was located about 500 meters off the coast of Sarufutsu village near the northern tip of Hokkaido.

Via BestWorldNews

There is a plan by the Japanese Coast Guard to search for it.

The coast guard plans to carry out a detailed survey, as the apparent disappearance of the island could reduce Japan’s territorial waters.

via NHK

… Under international laws, islands can be designated as such only if they can be seen above the sea surface even in high tides. If Esanbehanakitakojima has sunk beneath the surface, Japanese territorial waters will shrink.

On the afternoon of Sept. 1, Hiroshi Shimizu, 47, author was of “Hito-zukan” (Picture book on hidden islands), visited Sarufutsu to see Esanbehanakitakojima as part of his efforts to write a sequel.

However, he couldn’t not find the islet, so he made inquiries to the Sarufutsu village fishery cooperative association. Tomohiko Kihara, 38, a member of the association’s development research office, who had detailed knowledge of the sea area, studied the situation based on a sea chart. According to Kihara, Esanbehanakitakojima currently cannot be seen from land nor from fishing boats navigating nearby. Records show the islet does exist, or at least it did.

Via asahi

Have any other islands disappeared? Apparently so:

In this day and age, with anthropogenic climate change far from being under any sort of control, it’s to be expected that islands will disappear beneath the rising seas. As Hurricane Walaka recently demonstrated, sometimes this process is a little more abrupt than usual: this Category Five beast annihilated an island within Hawaii’s Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument essentially overnight.

Now, on the other side of the Pacific, something similarly curious is afoot. As reported by The Asahi Shumbun, an islet off the highest coast of Japan has vanished. No typhoons passed through the area, though, so what happened? …

Japan isn’t the only country to have lost an island recently. A piece of the United States was wiped off the map after East Island, a remote spit in Hawaii, was washed away by Hurricane Walaka last month.

via Guardian

Either way, it’s not great news for the Japanese government. If it’s confirmed to have sunk beneath the waves, then they’ve just lost around 500 meters (1,640 feet) of territorial waters that Russia could, if they wanted, claim.

via Forbes


This image supposedly shows the triangular island as it once was, earliest image April 16, 2017 from SciChannel “What in the World.”

Fishy. That doesn’t look like an empty rock. What is that structure?

Today there is only a spooky patch of deep sea, as if the island was swallowed, so the stories say:


It looks like a footprint. Godzilla? The easiest way for an island to disappear is for it to have never been there in the first place. Is this disappearing island story just a brilliant advertising push for the next Godzilla movie? Stay tuned.


About Xeno

E pluribus unum.


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