Approximately 6,000 islands make up the country of Japan. Now, the map of Japan will have to include another new feature since a tiny new island has appeared out of nowhere. Tokyo is 12,000 km south of the new island. The nearest island to the new landmass is Minami Ioto, located 50 km away. The new island is 1 km in diameter and is shaped like a crescent, according to the Japanese coast guard.
Japan’s meteorological agency reported that a volcano erupted last week and is still erupting. The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper reported that a smoke alert for the nearby islands has been issued and that there could be large deposits of volcanic ash in water bodies nearby. The Japanese coast guard made the discovery on Sunday, August 15. While conducting aerial observations of the eruption, the Coast Guard crew came across what appeared to be a large floating volcanic rock deposit in the sea.
Although the island is still far from being permanent, there is no way to tell if it is going to be permanent or if it will end up disappearing in a few years. Japan is not new to this phenomenon. At least three similar islands have appeared in the region before, in 1904, 1914 and 1986, but have all been eroded by persistent sea waves. An island similar to Nishinoshima merged with another Japanese island in 2013. If eruptions continue and the island forms a hard shell, it could become a permanent feature. In the case of the island remaining, the area Japan occupies may only increase by some hundred meters.