An island which formed in the Pacific, the first detected since satellites began regularly imaging Earth, seems to be here to stay.
The island popped up between two existing islands (Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai) in 2015, during a volcanic eruption.
It’s one of only three new islands to survive the ocean’s eroding waves in the last 150 years, NASA experts say.
NASA researchers visited the island and now believe the island could last for up to 30 years – and also found vegetation and a strange, sticky mud.
NASA’s Dan Slayback said, ‘We were all like giddy school children. Most of it is this black gravel, I won’t call it sand – pea sized gravel – and we’re mostly wearing sandals so it’s pretty painful because it gets under your foot.’
Slayback says that the big surprise is the ‘light clay mud’.
Slayback said, ‘It’s very sticky. So even though we’d seen it we didn’t really know what it was, and I’m still a little baffled of where it’s coming from. Because it’s not ash.’