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On November 14, 1963, the volcanic island of Surtsey emerged from the ocean five miles south of Iceland. It was named for the fire giant Surt from Norse mythology.The eruption lasted until June 5, 1967, when the island reached its maximum size of 2.7 sq.kilometers. Ever since, it has steadily diminished and is now (2002) only 1.4 sq. kilometers in size.

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