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  • Pumice Island

    Posted by TM Lutas on August 14th, 2012 (All posts by )

    The recent discovery of a huge pumice island that is larger than the state of Israel has led to scientific excitement, but not just scientific excitement. The questions arise who owns these rocks, and can one live on one of these pumice islands?

    Patri Friedman, call your office!


    8 Responses to “Pumice Island”

    1. Nicholas Says:

      The pumice island thing is cool but there’s something weird about that article.

      First they say that it was discovered by “New Zealand’s Royal Navy”. Then they say that “Officers on a Royal New Zealand Air Force ship saw the rock raft southwest of Raoul Island Thursday.”

      Which is it – New Zealand Navy or Air Force? The NZ Air Force has ships big enough to be out at sea? Really?

      THEN they quote Lt. Tim Oscar of the Royal Australian Navy. What’s an Australian Navy lieutenant doing on a New Zealand ship? Perhaps he is there on some kind of exchange but why run a quote from the Australian guy on a New Zealand ship? And it’d be even weirder if it was an Air Force vessel (if they even exist).

      So confused…

    2. TM Lutas Says:

      Nicholas – I would expect that MSNBC did a google search and robbed sources from both New Zealand and Australian press sources. I also suspect multiple sightings from multiple ships.

      If it’s any help pumice islands are nothing new. What’s really unusual is the size of this one. I’m speculating that more common, and smaller, pumice islands would be interesting raw material for sea steading if you could get reliably get a motor attached and navigate the thing.

    3. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Patri Friedman is the son of David, who is the son of Milton. David was a grad student at UofC back in the early 70s when I was a terminal stage undergrad. We hung out at the coffee shop in Ida Noyes. It was a nonstop political debate.

    4. Dan from Madison Says:

      “Sea steading” – isn’t that what the Sealand guy is doing?

    5. dearieme Says:

      What becomes of pumice islands? Do they break up on reefs, become saturated with water and sink, or what?

    6. Bill Brandt Says:

      You’d think with all of our satellite imagery somebody would have seen this thing – and to think nobody knows how it got there. To think of all the secrets of the sea that we have to clue about –

    7. TM Lutas Says:

      Dearieme – I expect that they will break up via wave action and either sink down to the ocean floor or end up washed on somebody’s beach.

      Bill Brandt – They’ve have a good candidate for it, the Havre seamount. I’m not sure whether it’s been officially determined or if anybody officially traces these things at all.

    8. Mrs. Davis Says:

      How many years of Lava soap production is the pumice island?