A NEW ISLAND WAITING TO EMERGE IN THE CANARY ARCHIPELAGO
Soon, the amazing canary archipelago will have one more island as it is emerging at only seventy miles southwest of “El Hierro” island, the most southern and youngest island of this group of islands.
These news must be understood in geological terms, as it is estimated that it will yet take about thousands of years to emerge from the waters of the Atlantic ocean.
We are talking about the volcano named “Las Hijas”, an underwater crater of about 1500 meters of height which is constantly active and slow growing in the deep ocean, about 3,500 meters under the sea.
Quite a long time ago, the Canary Islands were very different and exotic.
About 4 million years ago, the weather was radically different from the present one, rainy summers, heavy rains, hurricanes and much higher temperatures. These aspects are being investigated by the scientists in order to recreate the past of these old islands which have submerged under the ocean.
About five million years ago neither the island of “La Palma” nor “El Hierro” existed, while Lanzarote and Fuerteventura were one large island of nearly 3.500 meters of height, as tall as Tenerife at present, compared to today’s 800 meters.
Actually, all the Canary Islands are much older than the 20 million years that are attributed to the oldest island, Fuerteventura.
Much longer ago, perhaps 60 million years back, there existed other Canary Islands, perhaps more than ten, like Lars, Last Minute, Nico, Anika, Dacia, Concepcion or Amanay. At present these islands are underwater mountains surrounding the archipelago. Maybe you may be wondering, mountains under the sea? Yes. In fact, the highest mountain in the world is located underwater.
These underwater mountains are characterized by having a flat top. This shows that they were above water in the past and due to the erosion they were lowered again under the sea level.
Most of them will re-emerge during the next glaciation and currently maintain their peaks at a depth of less than 120 meters.
One of these new islands is located southwest of El Hierro. At present known as "Las Hijas", it is now an underwater mountain that is expected to emerge a new island, if the volcanic activity that has shaped this mountain for many millions of years, continues.
It will join the current family of islands.
This underwater mountain differs from the previously mentioned mountains for having a peaked top, instead of a flat one, indicating that it was never above sea level.
It is expected that in the next glaciation period, the sea level will drop about 120 meters, so the islands will be higher, larger and closer to Africa, and these underwater mountains will emerge again and be settled by humans.
Then these underwater mountains will create a chain of islands that will connect the Macaronesian archipelagos, among themselves and with Africa and the Iberian mainland, as repeatedly happened in the past.
Now, if you want to find out more about this fascinating subject, do not miss out this video (spanish)!