Posted on June 22, 2009 by

Surtesy is the youngest Island of the Vestmannaeyjar; it appeared in 1963 after a volcanic eruption. In November 1963, the crew of a fishing boat noticed that Southern than Heimaey the sea was boling and seemed to catch fire: getting closer, the fishermen realised that it was indeed land that was emerging. It was Surtesy.

The eruption from which the island developed, lasted 4 years, and when it finished a 2.7sqkm island emerged. The name comes after Surtur, a Old Norse giant that will put on fire the world during the Ragnarök.

Nowadays the Island is smaller- it’s about 1,4 sqkm, as it has been wired away; tourism is not allowed because Surtsey is being studied by researchers. Goal of these scientific studies is to understand how flora and fauna colonize new “sterile” territories. The data collected so far revealed that that the first alive thing was a seaweed the Anabaena variabilis.

Another question the scientists are investigating about, is how is it that in such a new land some fossils were discovered.

Surtsey has been recently declared a Humanity property by the UNESCO.

Comments (1)


  1. cinzia says:

    hi, can you be more specific?

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