Brand-New Island Emerges Off Germany

34-acre land mass grew over 10 years

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 11, 2013 5:37 AM CST

(Newser) – There's a new piece of Germany. Over the course of just 10 years, a 34-acre island has developed 16 miles off the country's coast, in the North Sea, the Telegraph reports. Some 50 different plant species already live on the island of Norderoogsand; sea birds are moving in, too; and dunes now measure as much as 13 feet in height. "For conservationists," the island's quick appearance "is anything but ordinary," says a national park worker. Sandbanks often form in the area's shallow waters, but they're usually destroyed by winter storms, experts say. While islands around Norderoogsand have offered protection from the weather, a major storm could prove its undoing, note scientists. (Click for another fascinating island story.)

People stroll through the mud flats of the North Sea nearby Westerhever, northern Germany, as temperatures reach three degrees Celsius (37.4 Fahrenheit) on Saturday, Jan.14, 2012.   (AP Photo/Heribert Proepper)
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