2. Surtsey, Iceland
Fifty-six years before White Island in New Zealand was made off limits after an eruption killed 20 tourists, there was Surtsey. On November 14, 1963, the volcanic island explosively emerged from the North Atlantic Ocean, sending a billowing column of ash skyward. Over the following four years, the island grew to a square mile before later eroding to half that size from wave action. Only a handful of scientists have been allowed access to study the geologic formation and colonization by plant and animal life. The closest the general public can get is the visitor center—located on the island of Heimaey, 10 miles away.
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