Looks like Hawaii isn’t the only series of islands formed from underwater volcanic eruptions.
NASA has shared a time-lapse of a Pacific island named ‘Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai’, formed from the ash of an underwater volcanic eruption that lasted from December 2014 to January 2015.
While it was initially expected to stay above sea level for only a few months, new satellite observations have led scientists to estimate it could survive around six to 30 years.
The island is a 400-foot (120-meter) summit nestled between two older islands – visible to satellites in space.
According to the NASA study, Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai is the first island of this type to erupt and persist in the modern satellite era, it gives scientists an unprecedented view from space of its early life and evolution.
The new study offers insight into its longevity and the erosion that shapes new islands. NASA believes that understanding these processes could also provide insights into similar features in other parts of the solar system, including Mars.