Japan is getting bigger. That's the finding of experts who recently reported that a 300m strip of land has emerged from the sea and has attached itself to the Japanese coast.
The extra stretch of coastline at the town of Rausu on Hokkaido Island rose as high as 10 meters above sea level in some parts and has exposed what was previously ocean floor to the elements.
The residents initially speculated the phenomenon is the result of mysterious seismic activities, prompting fears that another big earthquake is due in the near future. The nation suffered a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in March of 2011. Geologists debunked this theory however, stating that a landslide in the vicinity probably brought about the land's emergence. Melting ice and snow caused a land section to drop which consequently exposed an underwater area.
Local researcher Yoshinori Yajima flew over the area on Monday and confirmed the landslide theory, reports the Hokkaido Shimbun newspaper. Authorities from the Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau are still uncertain as to exactly when the landslide occurred, but they do not expect it to expand further.
This is not the first time Japan's total land mass has expanded. A new island recently emerged from the sea, approximately 1,000 km south of Tokyo, and continues to grow due to a magma-spewing volcano at its center.