In December of 2014 a new island appeared in the South Pacific. Almost four years later, scientists visited the landmass and “giddily” discovered signs of life on the landmass, according to a January 2019 blog post by NASA’s Dan Slayback. But the excitement would eventually wear off – and there was a big catch about the isle located just off of the coast of Tonga.
When it comes to the Earth’s geography, the last thing to expect is stasis. Since the beginning of the planet’s history, changes as gradual as erosion and as sudden as earthquakes have changed the layout of its landmasses. Tectonic plates constantly move around, re-configuring continents and even oceans.
Another cause for shifts in our planet’s geography is climate change. Take, for example, the island of Tangier, which sits in Chesapeake Bay, Virginia. Tangier’s 500 inhabitants speak in an English dialect unique to their hometown, and they have a rich history of crabbing in the bay waters. But their island might not be around for much longer.