A volcano beneath the Red Sea has given Earth a New Year's gift: a new island about 40 miles (60 kilometers) off the coast of Yemen.
The currently unnamed landmass first appeared in NASA satellite photos taken on December 23. By January 7, it had grown to a size of 1,730 by 2,300 feet (530 by 710 meters). By January 15, the volcano had stopped erupting, NASA's Earth Observatory reported.
The new island is the first permanent island to be formed since an eruption in Iceland created the island of Surtsey in 1963. But while Iceland is a known volcanic zone, the eruption in the Red Sea was more of a surprise, experts say.
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