The University of Copenhagen comes by stud to discover the most northerly island in the world. All thanks to a broken GPS.
529 years after Christopher Columbus, man thought he had circled the earth, and know every nook and cranny. But researchers at the University of Copenhagen have just made a discovery that proves the opposite. According to their press release, they did indeed find, by chance, the northernmost island in the world. In other words, the northernmost tip of land on the planet.
The expedition, conducted in July 2021, was originally intended to collect samples on the island of Oodaaq, known to be, until then, the most northerly island in the world. According to the leader of the expedition, Morten Rasch, the latter was convinced he had arrived safely, until he posted photos of the island on social networks. “A number of island hunters then went mad” reports the scientist.
An island that is in danger of disappearing quickly
780 km north of Oodaaq, this new island logically belongs to the Kingdom of Denmark, which is already the sovereign state over Greenland. According to the first analyzes carried out, this hazardous discovery would be linked to a GPS bug which misdirected the expedition. So she got lost off Greenland but in his misfortune to cross the road of a new island, even further north.
While this new piece of land does not yet have a name, it is also very fragile and might not stand the test of time. Large 1800 m2 with a peak at 4 meters above sea level, this sand and mud bank is likely to disappear with the next storm. According to scientists, it was surely a storm that created the island, and the next such event could well be responsible for its disappearance.
The case of Ferdinandea
This discovery, although surprising, is not uncommon. The creation of ephemeral islands is indeed quite common. Through volcanic eruptions, small mounds of earth can pierce the surface of our oceans and form new islands.
The example closest to us, but also one of the best known, is the case of Ferdinandea Island, or Julia Island in French. This small piece of land near Sicily was discovered for the first time in 1831. Ownership of this island has long been the subject of debate. In September 1831, then contested by Italy, the United Kingdom and Spain France sends the scientist Derussat planted a tricolor on the island. But a few months later, when a diplomatic crisis gripped Europe, the island disappeared under the blows of erosion. Since then it has only made a small reappearance in 1863.
Today the summit of the Empédocle volcano, responsible for the creation of this island is located 8 kilometers below sea level. Italian legislation is planned so that the territory comes back to it by right if the latter ever points to the end again. from his nose.