Earth  ID: 10916

Hello Paradise

Depending on your definition, there are 2,000 to 400,000 islands in the world. Some rival the size of continents—Greenland and Indonesia—while others barely stick a kilometer or two of beach out of the sea. Together they shelter unique plant and animal species and nearly 500 million humans. Some islands are formed by volcanism, with molten rock emerging from Earth's interior to build seafloor mountains that eventually rise above the water surface. Others are chunks of continental crust that became surrounded by water when sea levels rose at the end of the last Ice Age. Life itself has created a few, from artificial islands made by humans to sandbar-topped reefs built by corals. With the space station and a fleet of satellites, NASA has seen all of them. Check out the images for a look at five islands viewed from orbit.

For More Information

NASA Earth Observatory


Story Credits

Lead Writer:
Mike Carlowicz (Sigma Space Corporation)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Earth Observatory
Cover image courtesy of NASA/JSC/Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth
Cat Island image courtesy of NASA/JSC/Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth
Atafu Atoll image courtesy of NASA/JSC/Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth
Tahiti image courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon
Mataiva image courtesy of NASA/JSC/Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth
O'ahu image courtesy of NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS and the U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

Short URL to share this page:
https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/10916

Keywords:
NASA Science >> Earth
SVS >> App