Japan has another island

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No, they are not conquering

Japan has another island

When a volcano erupts, as Etna is currently doing, or the impending eruption in Iceland, it usually produces spectacular images. Sometimes also painful or sad images, such as two years ago on La Palma, where a large part of the island was buried under lava and thousands of people lost their homes.

A new island rises from the South Pacific

Underwater volcanic eruptions are often not even noticed. Unless that eruption reaches the water’s surface. This recently happened in the South Pacific, near the Japanese island of Iwo Jima. That eruption led to the creation of a new piece of land. In other words, Japan has another island, without having to invade another country.

There are no images of the exact moment the submarine volcano piled up its lava above the water, but there are images shortly afterwards, when the eruption was still in full swing. And those images are quite spectacular.

A soccerfield

The newly created volcanic island is of course far from habitable. Not only is the rock still far too hot and unstable for this, there is of course a chance that the volcano will soon spew out even more lava and rock.

The new island is not very big yet. With a diameter of about 100 meters, it is not much larger than one or a few football fields. Since the volcano that gave birth to the island is still active, the size and height of the new island can still grow.

Thousands of undersea volcanoes

An island created by a volcanic eruption is of course not unique. There are thousands of undersea volcanoes, many of which are still active. The islands of Hawaii were also created by volcanic eruptions, about five million years ago. To this day, a number of volcanoes that formed Hawaii and the seven other islands are still active.

Moreover, scientists say, the Earth has many more undersea volcanoes than so-called land volcanoes. There are even geologists who assume that for every potentially active volcano on land, there are hundreds of potentially active volcanoes undersea. If you know that there are currently about 1,350 potentially active land volcanoes, then those scientists are talking about possibly many hundreds of thousands of submarine volcanoes.

The new Japanese island near Iwo Jima has now also appeared in satellite photos. NASA and ESA published a few days ago this combined satellite photo. On the left is Iwo Jima as it was a few months ago. On the right, a new piece of land can clearly be seen south of the large island.

Japan’s new island (right, under Iwo Jima).

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