Ghost Ships From WWII Rise To The Surface In The Wake Of Tremors

A group of almost two dozen ships that were sunk during the massive World War II battle of Iwo Jima back in 1945 have been released from the bottom of the ocean and raised after tremors struck from Mount Suribachi, a volcano in Japan.

“Satellite photos from Japan’s All Nippon News show the leftover hulks of 24 Japanese transport vessels that were captured by the U.S. Navy in the latter part of the war,” reported the Daily Mail on the situation.

These ships were set on the western part of Iwo Jima in order to form a breakwater in order to protect all of the other ships stationed in port.

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In the wake of the tremors from the volcano, the seabed rose up and pushed the ships up along with it. “As a result of the activity, the sunken ships are sitting on volcanic ash,” reported the Mail.

“The discolored sea area has spread to surrounding areas, which indicates that the volcanic activity has not diminished yet,” stated the director of the government’s Volcano Research Promotion Centre, Setsuya Nakada, as part of an interview with Japan’s All Nippon News channel, as stated by the Mail. “There is a possibility of a big eruption on Iwo Jima.”

The island was used by the U.S. military in order to prepare for assaults on the mainland island of Japan during WWII, but back then it was only known as Brown Beach on the invasion maps. There are currently no inhabitants on the island, which back in 1968 was returned to the control of Japan.

Mount Suribachi is most well known for its iconic photo known as Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, in which there is six U.S. Marines raising an American Flag on the peak during the fevered pitch of the Battle of Iwo Jima.

The name Iwo Jima can be translated to mean “Sulfur Island” and has been the site of no less than 10 eruptions across the last century, as reported by data from Oregon State University. “There has [sic] more then 10 m of uplift on the island since 1952,” read the data.

“The subdued relief of Iwo Jima made it a natural site for airfields during World War II,” stated the university. “During the battle for this island nearly 20,000 US and Japanese soldiers lost their lives here. Not only is the volcanic morphology of Iwo Jima different than other island arc volcanoes, so is its composition.”

As read from, the toll was much worse: “American forces invaded the island on February 19, 1945, and the ensuing Battle of Iwo Jima lasted for five weeks. In some of the bloodiest fighting of World War II, it’s believed that all but 200 or so of the 21,000 Japanese forces on the island were killed, as were almost 7,000 Marines.”

Currently, the 555-foot high mountain is labeled as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in Japan. “In August, satellite photos captured the moment that the underwater Fukutoku-Okanoba volcano, roughly three miles north of South Iwo Jima Island, had erupted,” stated the Mail.

This eruption resulted in the creation of a new island being tagged as part of the Ogasawara chain.


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