Atlasov Island

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Atlasov Island

At latitude 50.80N, longitude 155.50E, Atlasov Island, known to the Japanese as Oyakoba, is the northernmost island of the Kuril islands, part of the Sakhalin Oblast in Russia. The Russian name is sometimes rendered in English as Atlasova Island or Ostrov Atlasova.

The island is named after Vladimir Atlasov, a 17th century Russian explorer. It is essentially the cone of a submarine volcano protruding above the Sea of Okhotsk to a height of 2339 m (7672 ft). The island has an area of 119 km² (46 sq mi). Its near perfect shape gave rise to many legends among the natives, e.g. the Kamchadal and Kuril Ainu told Krasheninnikov the story that it was once a mountain on the nearby Kamchatka peninsula, but the neighbouring mountains became jealous and exiled it to the sea, leaving behind lake Kuril in southern Kamchatka. Geographically, this story is not without evidence, as after the last Ice Age, much of the icecaps melted, raising the world's water level, and possibly submerging a landbridge to the volcano.

Ito Osamu (1926) described it as more exquisitely shaped than Mt. Fuji. It is uninhabited. Synonyms: Uyakhuzhach, Araito (Alaid).

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