One Sticky Thing: The Mud On A Remarkable New Pacific Island

A newly formed island in the South Pacific near Tonga — unofficially called Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai (Hunga Tonga) — is the first island of its kind formed since satellites began consistently taking pictures of Earth, according to NASA.  Scientists from NASA visited the island late last year and were surprised by both the new island’s staying power, and some of the things they found there, such as an owl and some super sticky mud.  CNN reports that the island was formed by a volcanic eruption in late December 2014 and it connected two older islands, but the scientists thought the island would submerge within months.  According to a NASA blog, the new island “immediately captured the attention of NASA scientists keen to understand how new islands form and evolve on Earth – which may also give them clues about how volcanic landscapes interacted with water on ancient Mars.”

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