Brand-New Island Emerges Off Germany
34-acre land mass grew over 10 years
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 11, 2013 5:37 AM CST
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)

(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.)