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A newly formed volcanic island has grown to 12 times its size in two years

Japan Coast Guard
The crater on Nishinoshima island.
  • Olivia Goldhill
By Olivia Goldhill

Science reporter

This article is more than 2 years old.

A volcanic island in Japan has grown to completely cover its once-larger neighbor over the past two years.

Japanese Coast Guard officials announced (pdf, link in Japanese) on Nov. 17 that a small islet about 1,000 km (621 miles) south of Tokyo, has grown 12 times its original size since first appearing in 2013. It now measures 1.9km east to west, 1.95km north to south, and 0.1km tall.

Japan Coast Guard

The islet was first created by an underwater eruption of molten rock, which cooled and solidified. A steady stream of lava continues to flow, and has spread over the neighboring Nishinoshima Island.

An official from the Tokyo Institute of Technology told Japan Today that volcanic eruptions would likely continue.

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