WATCH: World's youngest island shows off its best side in NASA time lapse video

2017-12-12 19:00 - Gabi Zietsman
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Cape Town - Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai is proving to be quite a resilient young island.

It first formed back in 2014 near Tonga, after an undersea volcano erupted pushing up enough rock and ash to form solid land. According to National Geographic, these kind of islands don't normally last long as they get taken back by the sea, but Hunga is tougher than the usual.

SEE: Icelandic volcano with unpronounceable name showing signs of potential eruption

NASA recently concluded that the baby island may be around for up to 30 years, the first of its kind in the modern satellite era.

The space agency has been keeping a keen eye on its evolution, and released a 3D time lapse of its development over the years. By studying it, scientists can learn more about how islands formed long ago, and these processes can even tell us more about how similar features formed on other planets in our solar system, like Mars.

The Red Planet has thousands of dormant volcanoes like the one that formed Hunga, and by monitoring our baby island scientists can adapt the model to the ones on our brother planet.

The only other island to have been formed by a volcano this century and is still around is Surtsey, formed in 1963 off the coast of Iceland - before satellites were around but the first in modern science.

You can watch the baby grow in the video below:

SEE: SA geoscientist discovers 'Lost Continent' after layover in Mauritius

If you want to jet off to see an island once formed by volcano - you don't have to go far. Mauritius was created by a volcanic eruption 9 million years ago, which it was recently discovered was hiding a 'lost continent'.

Feel like an island getaway? Check out our Mauritius guide for inspiration, and it doesn't have to be a honeymoon getaway!

Maybe Hunga will be around long enough to maybe become another cool island escape.

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