It was gone in a proverbial blink of an eye.
Nearly seven years after it was created by a monstrous earthquake in Pakistan, the island known as Earthquake Mountain has been swallowed up by the sea, according to newly released images from NASA.
The space agency compiled satellite images from the past six years of the island (also known as Zalzala Koh), which was created by a mud volcano and shows the isle in various stages of composition, before crashing waves ultimately caused its extinction and it returned to the sea.
When it was first created, it was 20 meters (65 feet) high, 90 meters (295 feet) wide and 40 meters (130 feet) long, causing experts to believe that it would not last long, a prediction that ultimately proved true.
"Zalzala Koh may be out of sight for now, but that does not mean it is completely gone," NASA wrote in a blog post. "In 2019, hints of the island persist in Landsat imagery. As recently as June 2019, Landsat observed trails of sediment circulating around the submerged base."
The government agency added that the mud volcanoes along Pakistan’s coast are caused by the movement of the Earth's plates in the area, notably the Arabian plate, which is "sinking beneath the Eurasian plate by a few centimeters per year." That causes soft sediments to be pushed onto the Eurasian plate and mud volcanoes are formed, as melting rock turns to magma and hot gas leaks out, eventually causing a mud volcano.
Zalzala Koh is not the only mud volcano-produced island to have formed and died in the region, NASA notes. Another mud island, Malan, has risen and been eroded four times over the past century, in 1945, 1999, 2010 and 2013.