Barren Island is situated in the Andaman Sea. Barren Volcano, the only confirmed active volcano in South Asia, is situated here. There seems to have been an explosive eruption on 5th November 2020.
This volcano is part of the chain of volcanoes from Sumatra to Myanmar. It is part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, an Indian union territory. It is around 38 kilometers northeast of Port Blair, the capital of the union territory. Barren Island is also called Barren Islands.
This volcano has erupted more than ten times. The first recorded eruption dates back to 1787. The last time this active volcano erupted was in 2017.
Ar-Ar dating of the Barren Island volcano proved that the oldest sub-aerial lava flow occurred 1.6 million years back. This volcano is located on an oceanic crust, approximately 106 million years old.
This island’s highest point is 354 meters (1,161 feet) above sea level. The most primitive volcano is now situated underwater (on the seafloor 2,250 meters or 7,380 feet below sea level). The island is three kilometers in diameter, with a total surface area of 8.34 square kilometers.
The island is uninhabited, though some fauna exists. These include Goats, birds, bats like flying foxes, and rodent species like rats. There is hardly any flora on the island.
Indians can go to the Barren islands on chartered boats, after getting prior approval from the forest department office. Landing ashore is prohibited for foreigners.
Tourism around Barren Islands
The area surrounding Barren Island is considered one of the top scuba diving destinations in the world. Manta ray swim teams prefer this area for many Manta rays. Basalt formations are another specialty of the area. It has fast-growing coral gardens. Past lava flows are another attraction for tourists around the Barren Islands.
How Do I Go to Barren Island for Scuba diving?
Scuba operators are based in Havelock Island, another island also part of the Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. From there, Scuba operators take you aboard ships or chartered boats to the scuba diving areas near Barren Island.