Vanishing island

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A diagram of a vanishing island at low and high tide.

Vanishing island refers to any permanent island which is exposed at low tide but is submersed at high tide. Vanishing islands occur globally. There are vanishing islands in the Philippines and several in the San Juan Islands.[1]

In early times, seamen were confused by this phenomenon and invented explanations for it, usually involving a massive sea monster that would let a crew land on its back before submersing itself, drowning the crew. Notable examples of these include the aspidochelone, Fastitocalon, Jasconius, Lyngbakr, Hafgufa, and various accounts of the kraken. [2]

The phrase is sometimes used to refer to Islands which may be permanently lost due to climate change.[3]


There is a vanishing island off the west coast of Samal Island in the Philippines.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reyes, Celine (2017-09-01). "VANISHING ISLAND, ALBAY: IMPORTANT TRAVEL TIPS". Philippine Beach Guide. Retrieved 2020-11-26.
  2. ^ Genlis, Stéphanie Félicité comtesse de (1785). Tales of the Castle: Or, Stories of Instruction and Delight. G. G. J. and J. Robinson.
  3. ^ "Vanishing Islands | Smithsonian Ocean". Retrieved 2023-05-01.
  4. ^ "The Vanishing Island: Samal, Davao". trip the islands. Retrieved June 25, 2019.