Tiny New Island is Here to Stay

Posted by Kyle Brookings on Tuesday, February 5, 2019

A new island that was discovered off the coast of Tonga in 2017, that hadn't existed just four years prior is beating the odds.

The island is here to stay according to NASA.

At first, scientists predicted that the tiny volcanic island would only last a few months. That prediction is no longer valid.

After scientists recently visited this island, they have concluded that the island survived could last from six to 30 years.

In late December 2014 into early 2015, a submarine volcano in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga erupted, sending a violent stream of steam, ash, and rock into the air. When the ash finally settled in January 2015, a newborn island with a 400-foot summit nestled between two older islands – visible to satellites in space.  

The newly formed Tongan island, unofficially known as Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai after its neighbors, was initially projected to last a few months. Now it has a 6- to a 30-year lease on life, according to a new NASA study.

The Team

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