An underwater volcanic eruption last week created a new crescent-shaped island in Japan about 750 miles south of Tokyo. 

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The Japanese Coast Guard discovered the new land mass while viewing an eruption from the air, the Mainichi Shimbun reported. The Japan Meteorological Agency issued warnings about smoke ash deposits, as the eruptions are expected to continue, according to the outlet. 

The mass that formed at the southernmost island of the Ogasawara Islands is reportedly less than two-thirds of a mile in diameter.


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New islands were previously confirmed in the area in 1904, 1914 and 1986, but each sank due to erosion from ocean waters — with the one discovered in 1986 sinking within about two months, according to the outlet. 

Volcanic activity in 2013 led to a new formation that merged with the existing island of Nishinoshima, resembling the cartoon dog Snoopy. 

The paper reported that a new island, if it remains above the ocean’s surface, could be added to the nation’s territory if recognized as a naturally formed island. But the addition of an island in that region would likely not affect territorial waters or the country’s economic zone. 


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Published on Aug 17, 2021