A new German island appears to have formed in the North Sea, just 15 miles off the coast of Schleswig-Holstein.
Measuring 37 acres (equivalent to roughly 26 football fields), the landmass was created over the last few years by sandbanks emerging from the sea, and has already proven a hit with its first settlers: an array of (early) birds that have made the island their home.
Gulls, grey geese, eider ducks, common ringed plovers and even peregrine falcons have been spotted nesting on the landmass, which has appropriately been dubbed “Bird Island”.
And, despite being composed entirely of sand dunes, the new German island appears to be popular with plants: a total of 49 types have been spotted and recorded on the island. Mother Nature is to thank for Bird Island’s surprisingly lush appearance, with winds blowing seeds from across the European continent.
“Who needs an artificial island off the coast of Dubai?”
However, Bird Island could be wiped out as quickly as it appeared. Biologist Martin Stock warned Bild:
“A strong storm flood could wipe the island out overnight. The plants do not have the roots necessary yet to bind the dunes together.”
Detlef Hansen, head of Germany’s national park, acknowledged the unusual origins of the island when he said:
“This is for us conservationists anything but ordinary.”
Here’s a close-up shot of the newly formed island: