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New island emerges from sea after eruptions from an underwater volcano

Poppy Bilderbeck

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| Last updated 

New island emerges from sea after eruptions from an underwater volcano

Featured Image Credit: Maritime Self-Defense Force / Gallo Images/"USGS/NASA Landsat data processed by Orbital Horizon"

An underwater volcano erupting has led to the formation of a new island.

Officials confirmed on 1 November the islet - a small island - had emerged.

But where is this new bit of land, is it sticking around for long and can anyone visit it?

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A new island has emerged. Credit: NHK News
A new island has emerged. Credit: NHK News

Well, the new islet is located about one kilometer off the coast of Iō-tō island - previously known as Iwo Jima island - located in the western Pacific, about 1,220 km south-southeast of Tokyo, Japan.

The emergence of the new small island was confirmed by the Maritime Self-Defence Force's air base - which is stationed on Iō-tō island - after it saw and heard an explosion, The Asahi Shimbun reports.

Prior to the volcano erupting and islet appearing, since 21 October, the Japan Meteorological Agency has detected volcanic tremors on Iō-tō island every few minutes and Iō-tō island has also been rising.

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The volcano erupted and in its wake, an islet has formed near its crater.

A JMA official told The Asahi Shimbun: "It is possible that a large amount of rocks and stones ejected from the crater on the seafloor accumulated and created the islet."

And it's not the first time a new island has formed recently in Japan.

It's not the first time Japan has discovered a new island after a volcano eruption. Credit: Getty Images/ Kurita KAKU/ Gamma-Rapho
It's not the first time Japan has discovered a new island after a volcano eruption. Credit: Getty Images/ Kurita KAKU/ Gamma-Rapho
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In 2021, in similar fashion, another underwater volcano erupted 1,200km from Tokyo, creating a new crescent-shaped island.

However, just because the new islands have reared their heads, doesn't mean they're set to stay around for long, with other islands forming in a similar fashion in 1904, 1914 and 1986 all eventually disappearing as a result of erosion.

Although, a total of 7,000 new Japanese islands discovered earlier this year may be slightly harder to get rid of.

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Japan was previously believed to have around 6,000 islands as per a mapping of the country conducted in 1987 by the Japan Coast Guard.

However, advanced mapping technology used by the Geospatial Information Authority (GIA) revealed this number was actually pretty inaccurate.

The new research revealed Japan didn't have 6,000 islands, but the country actually has over 14,000.

Basically, some of the land masses considered to be sandbanks opposed to islets or islands became included in the count.

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If, like me, your mind went straight to the idea of jetting off to one of the islands for a holiday, then hold your horses, because only 400 of the 14,000 plus are actually inhabited.

But even still, a new island being born is pretty cool.

Topics: News, World News, Science, Travel

Poppy Bilderbeck
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