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New Plants Found on Surtsey

Two new species of plants, creeping buttercup and Hornemann’s willowherb, were found on the volcanic island of Surtsey during the annual scientific expedition to the island this week.

In just 50 years, the island’s flora has grown to become more diverse than that of the other Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands). More than 70 plants have so far been found on the island, ruv.is reports.

Surtsey was created in a series of eruptions in 1963-1967 and is a nature reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island is preserved as a living laboratory and is off-limits to all but a group of scientists each year.

In 2010, the Surtsey Center, which includes an exhibition on the formation of the land and development of life on the island, was opened on Heimaey island.

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