I recently visited the Vulcão dos Capelinhos, which is an extension of Faial Island in the Azores that erupted from the sea bed only 50 years ago.

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Visiting this area gives you a great sense of the geological time scale. Although the island is quite fertile, on this piece of land there is really no vegetation whatsoever. I would like to visit more places like this. So is this the youngest landmass that came into existence naturally that I can visit? I am not interested in man-made land like the palm tree in Dubai, or Flevoland in the Netherlands

  • This question appears to be off-topic because it is not about travel. Aug 9, 2013 at 12:23
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    I disagree. It is about choosing a travel destination, and newest land is as valid as highest or other reasons for wanting to go to a place, like seeing the northern lights well. Finding locations that meet some criteria is a travel question. Aug 9, 2013 at 13:20
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    I think you need to rephrase the question to focus on finding and then visiting such places, otherwise it's just a kind of geography trivia question. Aug 9, 2013 at 14:10
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    Agree with both Kate and hippietrail - it's a valid reason to travel, but your question is worded as a geography question, it'd be good if you could rephrase.
    – Mark Mayo
    Aug 10, 2013 at 7:10
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    They fail two of your criteria (they are not new and they are man-made) but note that some mine dumps remain free of vegetation after several decades.
    – Relaxed
    Sep 26, 2013 at 7:43

7 Answers 7


As of yesterday (september, 24th, 2013) an island was created by an earthquake in Pakistan. The article contains photos of the landmass.

The island has been named Zalzala Jazeera, and now has a Wikipedia article.

It certainly qualifies as the youngest natural landmass that has been visited.

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    Who visited it? I was under the impression it was made of mud so not really visitable. Unless paddling up in a canoe and poking it with a paddle counts as a visit to a landmass ... Nope you are definitely right - photos of people walking around on the island! Sep 25, 2013 at 19:23
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    FYI, Zalzala jazeera means "earthquake island" in Arabic. Jul 12, 2015 at 11:12
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    As a footnote, according to the wikipedia article, the island has resubmerged as of 2016
    – Bamboo
    Jun 7, 2019 at 2:28

This isn't the "youngest", but in the years 1963 - 1967 a new island called "Surtsey" surfaced by the coast of Iceland, following a volcanic eruption.

Surtsey (Wikipedia)

It is however prohibited to visit Surtsey (unless you have a special research-guy permit).

  1. It is prohibited to visit Surtsey without a permit from the Surtsey Research Society, which manages all scientific research conducted on the island. The Environment and Food Agency has authorized the Society to supervise all activity on Surtsey.

Source: The Preservation of Surtsey

It is, however, possible to get pretty close to Surtsey, by boat. These guys offer a round trip: Viking Tours.


Kīlauea on the Big Island of Hawaii is active and has current lava flows adding area to the island. It's not safe to walk on really recent lava flows, and it's a bit difficult to the current flows. The New Kaimu Beach is on new land from around 20 years ago, and is easily accessible.

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    That's not a new landmass though, just one getting bigger. Aug 22, 2013 at 19:30
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    @Gilles: The example given in the original question was also a landmass getting bigger, so I'm pretty sure the question wasn't making that distinction. Aug 24, 2013 at 5:00
  • Capelinhos was a separate landmass for about a month. And the title does call for the “youngest landmass”, not the youngest extension of land which is presumably some boring sanded beach somewhere. Aug 24, 2013 at 8:46

Volcano has raised new island far south of Japan

It is just off the coast of Nishinoshima, a small, uninhabited island in the Ogasawara chain, which is also known as the Bonin Islands.

Here is also an Youtube video

Niijima continues to grow and has now merged with the original Nishino-shima. The Niijima portion of the island is now the largest part.


That can be visited is a bit ambiguous but most recent seems to be Tongan volcano forms new island from less than two years ago (16 January 2015, 18:05 AEDT):

A volcanic eruption in Tonga which has disrupted air travel has now formed a new island.

Tongan volcano forms new island (Credit: ABC)

The Hunga Ha'apai volcano has been sending an ash plume as high as thirty thousand feet into the air, forcing planes to be diverted from the area.

Scientists from New Zealand's GNS Science are in Tonga assisting local authorities observing the event..

Brad Scott, a GNS vulcanologist, says it's a remarkable opportunity to observe a volcanic eruption at first hand.


The one that I would like to travel to is the Mount St. Helens

This new landmass did not replace a sea zone but another landmass. The most spectacular is how life conquered the devastation only twenty years after the eruption.

  • been there a decade ago. Was still pretty bleak (there was vegetation, but not nearly as dense or high as outside the affected area). Didn't go into the eruption zone, but you get a good view from Johnston ridge.
    – jwenting
    Sep 13, 2013 at 5:36

Made by nature and can be visited, declared an island in 2003 Noorderhaaks is just off the coast of the Netherlands, near Den Helder and Texel.

There is no regular transport to the island but if you can find a 'private' boat you can get there. While the island is not as young as some in the other answers, it is still growing and you can be sure to be able to walk on the newest bits (which are beach.)

Noorderhaaks from the sky, with the mainland and one other island next to it.

Noorderhaaks to the left, NASA - Screenshot from NASA World Wind, a public domain photo.

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