The Polynesian Kingdom of Tonga is home to a new island. The land mass results from the wash and ashes vomit by the Home Reef seamount, a submarine volcano that came to life on September 10, 2022. While the volcano was erupting regularly since laid no risk for the inhabitants of the South Pacific archipelago.
The circular the island began to form about 33 feet (10 meters) above sea level in just 11 hours after the initial eruption. The newly formed land mass measure just one acre (about 4,000 square meters) on September 14, 2022. But recent satellite images from the US Geological Survey indicate that the baby island now extends a Impressive 6 acres (24,000 square meters)!
Before you pack your bags, know that the emerging the island is far from tropical heaven. In fact, it’s not even robust enough to walk on it again. “It’s more like a big layer of ash, steam and pumice on the ocean,” Rennie Vaiomounga, a geologist to the Geological Survey of Tonga, said Washington Post.
NASA researchers don’t think the new island will exist for too long. Land masses from submarine eruptions usually get eroded by waves and ocean currents in a short time. However, there have been some exceptions. An island created by the 1995 eruption of the nearby volcano Late’iki lasted 25 years. If the newly born island of Home Reef will survive this long remains being seen.
Resources: NPR.com, Washingtonpost.com, earthobservatory.nasa.com, space.com