World’s Newest Island Has Emerged After an Underwater Volcanic Eruption in Japan

Reddit // u/priyankasrinet

Our planet never fails to surprise us, and this time it came in the form of a newborn island emerging from the depths of the Pacific Ocean. This yet-to-be-named island materialized following an underwater volcanic eruption near the Japanese island of Iwo Jima, with a diameter of approximately 100 meters and a height of 20 meters. Aerial footage captures a dark ash cloud above the island, now officially part of the Ogasawara Island chain.

The Spectacle Unveiled

On October 30, the Earthquake Research Institute at the University of Tokyo confirmed the occurrence of an island-forming volcanic eruption. The process had been under observation since the previous year, as magma erupted underwater, solidifying as rock beneath the ocean’s surface.

The eruption on October 30 led to the breakthrough of solidified magma, birthing the new island. Initially marked by a vertical jet of black debris, including solidified magma and water, the volcanic activity transitioned into an explosive emission of volcanic ash by November 3.

Island Characteristics and Evolution

The petite island is mainly comprised of piles of pumice, formed north of the eruption site. Although prone to erosion which may result in some shrinkage, the island’s fate hinges on ongoing volcanic activity. Professor Setsuya Nakada, a volcanology expert, suggests that if lava continues to emerge and covers the area, the island could endure and potentially grow. The dynamic nature of the geological processes at play leaves uncertainty regarding the island’s future.

Reddit // u/hansiphoto

Beyond this Japanese spectacle, Italy’s Campi Flegrei supervolcano has also raised concerns, exhibiting signs of restlessness. With over 1,000 earthquakes recorded beneath the caldera’s east side in a single month, the Italian government is contemplating a mass evacuation plan for the surrounding areas. Despite being on yellow alert, indicating potential volcanic activity, scientists assure locals that there is no immediate threat of an eruption.