UNESCO World Heritage
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Surtsey

Have you been?

First visited by us on October 21, 2020
TL;DR: Surtsey is a tiny island close off the southern coast of Iceland. It was created only about 60 years ago, in the 1960s. A massive 4 years long underwater volcanic eruption built it. This actually makes it the youngest place on Earth. Scientists loved the unique opportunity to be able to study life forming. To make sure a new ecosystem could be built naturally, humans were banned from the island. That means that only a handful of researchers are the only humans to have ever set foot on it.

All about the

Surtsey

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Welcome to our collected information about the UNESCO World Heritage Site officially known as “Surtsey”! If you travel here and ask about it, the site is in Icelandic known as Surtsey. We call it Surtsey or just Surtsey.
[ ˈsʏr̥tsei ]

A Brand New Natural Laboratory

Our UNESCO
World Heritage Site
0
/ 0

Where is Surtsey

So far we have made three fantastic trips to this beautiful and diverse continent. The adventures have been to some very different places. Our first was to the North West, to Morocco. The next was to the island country, Cape Verde. Our latest adventure was truly an adventure, we spent about two weeks in Tanzania.
Europe
Iceland
Southern Region

How small big large HUGE v-a-s-t is it

3370
1 Hectare is 0.01 km² and 0.004 mi²

33.7

1 km² is 100 Hectare and 0.386 mi²

13.0

1 mi² is 259 Hectare and 2.589 km²

Why is Surtsey
a World Heritage Site

Surtsey and all of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites are amazing per definition. The term UNESCO uses is that they are of “Outstanding Universal Value“. All the 1121 sites on the list have been carefully qualified and selected among the many suggested each year. In fact, the list of nominated sites is currently 1734 sites long. We, humankind, have though the United Nations together decided that we really should make an extra effort in saving, protecting and taking care of these wonderful sites. This because of their value to us, both now and perhaps even more for future generations. When qualifying to be included in this exclusive list there are 10 different categories that you can qualify in. You can qualify in more than one, most sites do. Surtsey qualified in 1 of them. It was selected to be included because of:

World Heritage Type

Cultural

Natural

Mixed

Read

This

Surtsey is a tiny island close off the southern coast of Iceland. It was created only about 60 years ago, in the 1960s. A massive 4 years long underwater volcanic eruption created it. This makes it the youngest place on Earth. Scientists loved the unique opportunity to be able to study life forming on new land. To make sure that a new ecosystem could be built naturally, humans were banned from the island. That means that only a handful of researchers are the only humans to have ever have set foot on it.

UNESCO's  1 Why

Natural Reason #9
The whole island is an ongoing biological and ecological process. Surtsey was born as a new volcanic island in 1963-67. Since then it has played a significant role for scientists in the studies of both succession and colonisation. It is the location of one of the few long term studies worldwide on succession. It has given us a unique scientific record of the process of colonisation of new land by plants, animals and marine organisms. Not only is it geographically isolated, but it has also been legally protected since its birth. That has given the world a pristine natural laboratory, free from human tampering. Most importantly, Surtsey will thank this continue to give priceless data on biological colonisation long into the future.
Significant Ecological & Biological Process

World Heritage Protection Status

Protected

Endangered

Lost

Timeline for the Surtsey World Heritage Site

1963

Creation

Surtsey was physically created.

1967

Established

Surtsey was established.
1977-07-01

Tentative

Iceland nominated Surtsey to become a World Heritage Site.

1977-07-01

Inscribed

The application from Iceland was approved and Surtsey officially became a World Heritage Site.

2020-10-21

Visited by us!

Landmark event, obviously! Our first visit to the Surtsey World Heritage Site. This was our 124 site visited out of the 128  we have travelled to so far.

Useful external links

Search for other Sites

Our Guides to Surtsey

Our Surtsey Photos

Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site
Surtsey UNESCO World Heritage Site