‘Snoopy Island’ spotted by Nasa satellite as landmass shaped like Charlie Brown’s pet dog is born

Bloggers and Twitter users delight in discovery of ‘complete match’ but warned not to visit any time soon

A new island which has emerged following volcanic eruptions off the coast of Japan has sparked delight online after satellite images showed it bears a startling resemblance to a cartoon character.

“Snoopy Island”, as it has been dubbed by Twitter users, has resulted in something of a ripple across social media after it sprouted from the waters around the Ogasawara island chain.

One user described it as a “complete match” for the profile outline of Charlie Brown’s famous pet dog, right down to the strip of volcanically-discoloured water making up his collar.

Experts from the Japan Meteorological Agency warned that the island – in fact made up of two landmasses which are gradually fusing – remains highly volatile.

Unperturbed, user @astralpouch said: “Holy crap … Snoopy island … I don't care what they say I'm going over there.”

Twitter user Hayato Ikeya (@tekken8810) was among those who compared images of 'Snoopy Island' to its cartoon likeness Twitter user Hayato Ikeya (@tekken8810) was among those who compared images of 'Snoopy Island' to its cartoon likeness The new island caused great excitement after it was pictured by the Japanese Coast Guard – not least among the government, excited by the prospect of a slight increase in the country’s territorial waters.

The extraordinary landmass’s path to fame began when a volcano erupted in the sea around 500 metres from the existing island Nishino-shima, some 600 miles (1,000km) south of Tokyo in waters nonetheless under Japanese administration.

Soon afterwards it was pictured as part of Nasa’s Earth Observatory programme, which noted that the island could have grown large enough to survive for at least a number of years.

The new mass was named Niijima, and was awarded Global Post’s 2013 End of the Year Award for Best Island (its Award for Best Rock went to Gibraltar).

Nasa and the Japanese Coast Guard captured images of the new island, Niijima Nasa and the Japanese Coast Guard captured images of the new island, Niijima  Nasa’s satellite passed over again on Christmas Eve, and found that “only a narrow channel of water appeared to separate the two” islands. It added that “the two islands may soon fuse into one”.

With the emergence of those pictures – also showing the heated volcanic activity around “Snoopy’s body” – Japanese blogs noticed the resemblance emerging.

Though still not officially named as a single entity, “Snoopy Island” was destined then destined for online notoriety.

There remains uncertainty over how long “Snoopy” will survive in its current shape.

Hiroshi Ito, a volcanologist with the Japanese coastguard, told the FNN news network the island could erode after the eruptions cease. “But it could also remain permanently,” he added.

Infrared imagery from Nasa's satellite showed the strength of the heat coming from Niijima, aka 'Snoopy's body' Infrared imagery from Nasa's satellite showed the strength of the heat coming from Niijima, aka 'Snoopy's body'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Sport
football
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
weird news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?