An undersea volcano has created a new Japanese island 620 miles south of Tokyo. The eruption took place 500 meters from the uninhabited Nishinoshima Island, one of the subtropical Bonin Islands, forming new land in an archipelago that runs along the Pacific tectonic plate boundary commonly called the "ring of fire."
The Japanese coast guard issued a warning in the area on Wednesday after thick black smoke was ejected from the water alongside rapidly cooling lava. The coast guard and Japanese Meteorological Agency report the freshly formed land that molten rock created is currently about 660 feet in diameter. Japanese volcanologist Hiroshi Ito told FNN News that the new island may yet be eroded away, but that it "could also remain permanently." The island has yet to earn a name, but has already received a governmental welcome: Japan's chief government spokesperson, Yoshihide Suga, told reporters "If it becomes a full-fledged island, we would be happy to have more territory."