There's A Massive Mystery Island Floating Off The Coast Of New Zealand

The ocean contains many strange and mysterious things, many of them we've looked at before, but this one tops the list for the craziest thing we've seen bubble to the surface: a nomadic, floating island the size of Israel has been spotted by the Navy off the coast of New Zealand. Whoa.

The Australian Associated Press reports that the island is made out of pumice, which is essentially a form of volcanic rock that occurs when lava and water mix. It was formed following an underwater volcanic eruption and has been floating around in the ocean ever since.

The New Zealand Navy spotted it 1100 kilometres off the coast of the country's North Island, while local Naval counterparts called it "the weirdest thing" they had ever seen in 18 years at sea.

The island's surface area measures about 25,500 square kilometres, making it larger than Israel which measures almost 21,000 square kilometres. To put that into a local perspective, New South Wales measures 809,000 square kilometres.

I want to live on a floating island. Like, yesterday. Getting the internet might be a problem, mind. [AAP]

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    Are there potential dangers if this decides to float it's way towards a country?

      Not sure, but with all of that pumice I could corner the heel-care market.

        Ships could ram into it to scrape the weed and barnacles off the bottom, perhaps?

      No, i doubt it.. It will be gradually broken apart by wave and wind action action (volcanic rock isn't that strong), and dark sediment would spread accross the ocean floor immediately below it. If it does wash towards a coastline the waters will be probably diry and black for a little while, the impacts being mostly on fish and other aquatic organisms. Just a guess though :)

      I don't think it will sink the country if that's what you are worried about Matthew. Countries tend to float better than pumice ;-)

        Because countries float really well!

    My God. Reddit Island is a reality!

      That's a great idea! Get all the redditors onto the island, and then sink it.

        Best idea I have heard all day.

    Holy cow!

    New Zealand has a navy!

      what i said...

      What they meant to say was a bunch of guys in canoes and an eskie between them spotted it.

        It's a chilly bun bro, not a esky. (I can say that cause I'm a kiwi)

          It's a chully bun bro aye! not an usky!!!! (I can say that, I'm an aussie and I don't care :) )

      Omg there's a "New" Zealand now?

    I wonder if you could capture it somehow, and tow it away.

      New Zealand? Good idea.

    If it does hit a country, it means that country just gained 25,500 square km of new land to develop.

      Perfect for illegal boat people...

    Just paddle out there and use satellite internet. Are there any actual photo's of it "floating" around yet? Could be the next photography challenge :)

    Errr it's not an island, it's more like a patch of floating pebbles.
    A pumice slurry if you will.

    After a few months it will break apart and/or soak up water and sink to the bottom of the ocean

      Exactly; "island" is a complete misnomer. It's more of a loose "raft":

        Damn, I wanted to be able to tell my kids that I was around when so and so island was discovered.

      I don't know who you are, I don't know what you want, but now I have to change my Gizmodo name.

    A podiatrists dream!

    This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

      No, just the bankers ;)

    Let's go to war over this piece of real estate. Any takers? US, china? No point
    Sending people to the moon, pumice land, the promised land has risen

    Sea star island from dr dolittle.

    First i find out that someone is building a new Titanic and now i read about a floating island.....

    Sorry, what is the surface area of Israel again? I thought it went all the way down.

    was it just me or did the city of R'lyeh come into the forefront of anyone’s mind?

    Assylum seeker problem solved

    "Some may have been responsible for the distribution of island hopping animals and plants of the Pacific Ocean.  Some pumice islands have been found with plants actually growing on them."

    wow what will science come up with next

    Lex Luthor, come on down and build some condos!

    Probably just a bunch of Kiwi's trying to float to Australia to get on the dole.

    so big you cant even see it on that pic

    Somewhere for Julian Assange to hideout maybe?

    When I saw the headline I assumed it was talking about Australia.

    Larger than Israel and hole-ier

      Stuff all the heel-care jokes... This is the winner!

    Hook a tow line up to it, we could double the size of tazzy!

      i recon it would make a gr8 bridge to get there ay... connected then ay...

    So big and awesome I wish all Gizmodo writers moved there.

      I can't tell if this is meant to be mean or nice. Regardless, giving us our own country isn't a bad thing.

    a new offshore refugee processing centre?

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