There's a New Island On the Map (But It Might Not Last Long)
Thanks to a string of eruptions from the underwater Hunga Tonga Volcano, there's a brand new island about 28 miles away from Tonga's capital city. Even more intriguing than the fact that there are still islands popping up is the fact that less than a dozen people have stepped foot on the newcomer. (Cue undiscovered island wanderlust!)
But there's a reason for the lack of foot traffic. Since the island was formed from volcanic material, it's thought that the surface and surrounding water could be hazardous. Submerged volcanoes are also quite spontaneous, making boat travel to the island risky in itself. That being said, a few individuals made the trip. BBC spoke to 63-year-old Gianpiero Orbassano—a local hotel owner—about his voyage: "It's really quite solid once you are on it and it's quite high," he said. "It felt quite safe. The only difficult thing was getting out of the boat on to the island. The surface was hot, you could feel it. And climbing it was hard in the bright sun."
Related: The World's Most Romantic Islands
It's possible the island won't last long. Just as it was formed, more volcanic activity can break up the 1,640-foot landmass. Even more reason to take in these photographs of the island:
Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.
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