Steam and ash rising from the volcano on the new island

Mary Lyn Fonua/AFP/Getty Images

Tonga

On a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean, seabirds squawk and flowers bloom. But this island is unusual in a big way. It’s new!

In December 2014, an underwater volcano erupted in a country called Tonga. Hardened ash from the volcano piled up under the waves. Eventually, the mound grew big enough to emerge above the surface. It formed a new island between two older islands.

Today, plants grow on the mile-long island. And birds are even making homes there.

Jim McMahon/Mapman®

Fast Fact:

The country of Tonga is made up of more than 170 islands. The new one is known as Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, or HTHH for short.

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