Huge undersea volcanic eruption creates brand new tropical island

A new island formed as a result of underwater volcanic activity must be the world's hottest new property.

The crescent-shaped landmass has formed part of the Japanese archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.

But you may have to book flights quickly if you fancy holidaying there.

Several underwater eruptions have been reported in the area roughly 1,200km (745 miles) south of Tokyo, with plumes of gas rising over 15km (9 miles).

The island, which sits 50km (31 miles) south of the current southernmost island in the Ogasawara group, is actually the tip of submerged volcano Fukutoku-Okanoba.

It has erupted several times before, most recently in 2010. Like today, one of its eruptions formed an island in 1986.

Japan's coastguard has said that the crescent shape has a 1km (0.6 miles) diameter, but it awaits to be seen whether it will stay that size.

The 1986 island, along with others formed at the start of the 20th century, was all eroded away by the choppy Pacific waves.

Another formed in 2013 and had a striking resemblance to cartoon dog Snoopy, as reported in The Mirror. Sadly, the likeness was also eroded.

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When eruptions are particularly huge and last some time, flows of lava can produce a durable shell around the easily eroded ash.

Meteorologists in Japan have issued warnings about large ash deposits in the area and believe the eruptions could continue, meaning that this island new could survive.

The coastguard is monitoring the area and satellite images have detected large amounts of pumice still floating in the waters.

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Fortunately, it is unlikely that there will be any geopolitical issues created as there often are with new landmasses.

In recent years tensions have been high between China and several other countries over 'islands' in the South China Sea.

China has used tankers and sand deposits to construct new landmasses in the area in an attempt to extend their exclusive economic zone (EEZ) – giving them control of more sea.

EEZs extend 200 nautical miles away from a country's land. As the new island is only 50km (27 nautical miles) from Japan's island of Minami Iota, the country's territorial waters will be unaffected.

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