Late last year we watched as a new island was born and started growing off the Pacific coast of Japan. Boy did it grow fast, as a little later that year it assimilated (to form the face of loveable hound, Snoopy, no less) with another nearby island, Nishinoshima.

This kind of event doesn’t happen every day, but unfortunately the Japanese Coast Guard is advising all ships to stay well clear thus torturing the curious souls who want to catch a glimpse of it. Then by a sheer stroke of luck, someone from the Ogasawara Tourist Board was able to capture a brief but interesting look at these eruptions in action and generously posted it on YouTube for all to see. It’s seriously impressive.

Ogasawara is the name for the chain of islands found to the South of Tokyo in the Pacific Ocean. During one of the frequent cruises that run through Ogasawara, some rough weather conditions forced the ship to change its course and get closer to Nishinoshima than any others during the eruptions.

This allowed those on board to get pretty good view of the volcanic action and take some pictures. One passenger was a member of the Ogasawara Tourist Board and later posted the video on YouTube and their website along with some photos.

In the short piece of footage we can see huge plumes of ash quickly flowing out of the crater under what must be intense pressure.

Then lava began pouring and shooting out of the volcanoes.

Aside from being an entertaining look at the power of nature, there’s a lot of scientific information that can been learned from it. For example, we now know that those annoying volcanoes from Gradius are surprisingly accurate.

If you want to take a gamble on a chance encounter with the Nishinoshima volcanoes then check out the Ogasawara website below and look into booking a cruise, or do it anyway because its a great place for a relaxing getaway… even despite the lava explosions.

Source: Visit Ogasawara via NetLab (Japanese)
Video: YouTube – Ogasawara Tourism Board, QwertyGuy499