In the Pacific Ocean near Japan’s Iwo Jima island, a new island has recently emerged due to an underwater volcano eruption reported by Japan’s Meteorological Agency on November 1. The newly formed island is part of the Ogasawara Island chain, located about 750 miles south of Japan’s mainland and in close proximity to Iwo Jima Island. This event provides scientists with a unique opportunity to study the formation of land in real time, contributing to our understanding of Earth’s dynamic processes.

The island’s formation is a fascinating natural phenomenon that can be attributed to the materials expelled from an underwater volcano. Over time, these materials have accumulated and solidified to create a new landmass in the middle of the ocean. While similar events have been documented in the past in this region, the current occurrence is noteworthy because it marks the first time that magma has surfaced in this area since 1986. The lifespan of this newly formed island remains uncertain. This uncertainty arises from the fact that many such islands often have a short existence, disappearing beneath the sea in a matter of weeks or months due to the harsh and unpredictable conditions of the surrounding ocean. The forces of erosion, wave action, and changing tides can quickly erode and submerge these volcanic islands, making their existence transient and ephemeral.