World War II ships sunk during the epic battle of Iwo Jima were raised from the ocean floor after the tremors of a Japanese volcano.
Satellite images show the remains of 24 transport ships captured by the US Navy during the last days of the conflict in 1945.
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The dramatic photos were released by All Nippon News after the sea floor began to rise due to activity on Mount Suribachi, west of the island of Iwo Jima. The sunken ships are now sitting on volcanic ash, thanks to the seismic tremors.
During the war, ships were moved to form a harbor to prepare for the invasion of American troops. They formed a breakwater – which is usually a wall of stone or wood used to protect harbors from the waves – to protect other ships that were unloading troops and weapons.
The island of Iwo Jima was taken by the US because of its two airfields. During the bloody battle, 216 Japanese soldiers were captured – while the rest of the country’s 20,000 soldiers were killed. About 7,000 Americans lost their lives in the conflict.
The iconic photo known as Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, which shows US Marines hoisting the American flag, was taken at the peak of Mount Suribachi. The hill, which is 155 meters high, is supposedly one of the 10 most dangerous volcanoes in the country. The island remains uninhabited, except for the Japanese military, who have been there since 1968.
Speaking about the activity, Setsuya Nakada of the Volcano Research Promotion Center said: “The discolored sea area has spread to the surrounding areas, which indicates that volcanic activity has not yet subsided.”
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