How Bird Poop Helps Populate a New Volcanic Island With Life

In 2013, a new island was born off the coast of Japan. While some of these islands formed by volcanic eruptions are only temporary, Nii-jima (“new neighbor” in Japanese) kept growing, eventually consuming the nearby island of Nishino-shima as well. Now the entire landmass is coated in fresh lava just waiting for new… »5/04/15 7:50pm5/04/15 7:50pm

How China Is Making Tiny Islands Inhabitable With Huge Floating Docks

The Spratly Islands are basically mounds of sand in the middle of the South China Sea, some of them barely tall enough to reach above the water. But China is hell-bent on making them inhabitable, even drawing up plans for floating energy and water plants. It has nothing to do with the islands themselves and everything… »10/31/14 2:45pm10/31/14 2:45pm

Why China's Building a Military Base in the Middle of the Ocean

After flying a surveillance plane over the South China Sea last February, the Philippine government saw how China was constructing islands in order to bolster its claim to the territory. (See above.) It even suspected that China might plan to build a military air strip to protect them. Looks like they were right. »9/10/14 10:39am9/10/14 10:39am

China Is Building Fake Islands to Bolster Its Claim to Disputed Waters

Pity the poor mapmaker assigned to the South China Sea. The hotly disputed waters in the Pacific are torn between competing claims from all the countries that surround it. China, especially, has been aggressive and sly. It's now dumping sand onto small reefs and shoals, building whole new islands to bolster its… »6/18/14 7:00pm6/18/14 7:00pm

The Mystery Behind the Disappearing Island That Existed on Google Maps Has Been Solved

Remember that tiny South Pacific island known as Sandy Island on Google Maps and Google Earth that disappeared? It was like LOST in real life. Though scientists 'undiscovered' the island recently, the real mystery was on how it appeared on modern maps to begin with. We now know the answer. »12/04/12 11:00pm12/04/12 11:00pm

How Did This Tiny South Pacific Island Disappear? (Hint: It Never Really Existed)

It shows up on Google Maps, coastal databases, and marine charts, but when scientists from the University of Sydney went to visit Sandy Island, it was no where to be found. Did the island, supposedly located between Australia and New Caledonia, suddenly disappear like a confusing LOST plot twist? »11/22/12 1:00pm11/22/12 1:00pm

Dubai Taking More Cues From Failed Movies By Sinking Money Into Floating Islands in the Shape of Letters

Just when we thought Dubai couldn't make more absurd architectural decisions, they go and commission a Dutch dude to make floating islands in the shape of Arabic letters that spell out a part of a poem. This floater of an idea has been tried before, albeit on a smaller scale with cruise ship terminals, mosques and a… »4/21/08 8:45pm4/21/08 8:45pm