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10 (almost) deserted islands

Surtsey

Photo: CanonS2/Wikimedia Commons

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Surtsey

The Icelandic island of Surtsey does not have a long history because it simply did not exist before the 1960s. Formed by an underwater volcanic eruption, this island is interesting to scientists, who want to witness the formation of the island's eco-system firsthand. Mosses and fungi were the first living things that grew on in the volcanic soil, with a number of migrating birds, plants and even insects now thriving on this young land mass. Because of its scientific value, Surtsey is heavily protected and remains off-limits to tourists — but there are regular sightseeing flights over the island.