A small volcanic island off the coast of Japan is having a major growth spurt.
The rapid growth began in November of 2013, when a new island named Niijima emerged near Nishinoshima as a result of an undersea volcanic eruption. Niijima eventually merged with Nishinoshima, and the newly fused Nishinoshima -- which some people thought looked like Snoopy -- has been expanding rapidly ever since.
The Japanese Coast Guard reports that the undersea volcano remains very active. On a recent aerial survey of the island, the Coast Guard observed a 1,200-meter plume of smoke stemming from the eruption as well as volcanic rock spouting from the volcano several times per minute.
Footage shot by the Coast Guard, above, shows molten rock spewing from the volcano, continuously adding new land to the island.
— 海上保安庁 (@JCG_koho) February 24, 2015
Until 2013, the undersea volcano had not seen any activity since one major eruption from 1973 to 1974, which added more land to the already existing Nishinoshima. Prior to that, there were no eruptions on record, according to the Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program.
As of February 23, Nishinoshima had grown to 2.45 square kilometers, and is continuously expanding on the east portion of the island, according to the Japanese Coast Guard.
Grow on, baby island. We believe in you!
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