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10 Lost Islands


9
New Moore Island/South Talpatti — Done in By Global Warming
A vintage map of the Bay of Bengal shows a number of islands in the waters surrounded by India, Burma (now Myanmar) and Siam (now Thailand).  Smith Collection/Gado /Getty Images
A vintage map of the Bay of Bengal shows a number of islands in the waters surrounded by India, Burma (now Myanmar) and Siam (now Thailand).  Smith Collection/Gado /Getty Images

For several decades, the nations of India and Bangladesh squabbled over who had sovereignty over a tiny island in the Bay of Bengal. The Indians called it New Moore Island, while the Bengalis referred to it as South Talpatti. Regardless of which name you chose, there wasn't much to it. The island was just 2 miles (3 kilometers) long and 1.5 miles (2 kilometers) wide, and had no permanent buildings on it. Nevertheless, in 1981, India went so far as to send paramilitary fighters to occupy the island and hoist the Indian flag above it.

But all that nationalistic fuss over sovereignty was for nothing, because global warming — which causes rising sea levels — ultimately resolved the conflict. By 2010, sea patrols and satellite imagery confirmed that New Moore Island/South Talpatti had sunk beneath the water and vanished.

But while the disputed island's fate wasn't all that significant in the scheme of things, it was an ominous indication of what the future may hold for other, more populous islands in the Bay of Bengal. As many as 10 local islands are at risk from rising sea levels [source: Associated Press].


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