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Underwater volcano creates new island in the South Pacific Ocean

Courtesy: CNES/Airbus

Courtesy: CNES/Airbus


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Friday, March 13, 2015, 4:09 PM - Since December, an underwater volcano in the South Pacific Ocean has been erupting, leading to the creation of a new island.

Scientists say the island, located some 40 km from Tonga, won't last long.

The 1,640-foot-long land mass was created out of ash spewed by underwater volcano Hunga Tonga. It's unstable and vulnerable to ocean currents.

Matt Watson, a professor at the University of Bristol, told the BBC the island is "basically small pieces of rock on top of each other that have formed an island." 
Still, that hasn't stopped people from venturing out to the area.

Tonga resident Gianpiero Orbassano told the BBC the ground on the island felt "quite solid."

"It felt quite safe - the only difficult thing was getting out of the boat on to the island. The surface was hot, you could feel it. And climbing it was hard in the bright sun," he added.

Here's a look at what the area looked like before the island formed:



There's no word on when the island will disappear.

Source: The BBC

RELATED VIDEO: THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE WEATHER: VOLCANOES:

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