A recent geological survey of the Isle of Wight has come to the worrying conclusion that the island is shrinking at a rate of two millimetres per year.
The first survey on the actual size of the island in 1952 revealed it to have an area of 380.56777 square kilometres. A survey that began in 2006 and was completed earlier this year has discovered that the island now has a surface area of 380.56762 square kilometres. This has been put down either to rising sea levels, coastal erosion, an imperial to metric conversion error, poor measurement in the fifties, or most worryingly of all, the centimetre getting bigger!
"This is a discrepancy of over ten centimetres!" said head of Geology on the Isle of Wight, Marla Kintyre. Kintyre has also calculated that thirty million years previously, the island was twice the size it is now. Maybe more.
On hearing the news, house prices in Ventnor, Ryde and Yarmouth fell through the floor, with any house less than ten metres from a cliff immediately put up for sale, despite it taking approximately five thousand years before the island will have shrunk enough to cover that ten metres.
"We calculate that the island will have completely disappeared nineteen million years," said Kintyre. "Give or take a few hundred thousand. I've already booked my flight off the island while we still have an airport!"
Panic house selling on the island has become rife since learning that the population only have nineteen million more years before the house market there has completely gone. Although, reports of inflatables and life rafts have gone up in recent weeks.
"I'm two miles from the coast," said Elsie Horef, an elderly Godshill resident, who has recently bought an inflatable life raft. "I'm not very good at converting metric into Imperial, and my calculations for circumference using the area maybe a little suspect, but I've worked out my house will be underwater by next Tuesday!"
Long term Ventnor resident, Harold Regus, has done his own calculations and has only one thing to say to the rest of the island's population: "Feckin eejits, the lot of them."