Today's picks

    A newly formed island in the Pacific might resemble to Mars

    In the last days of 2014, something incredible happened — a whole new island was born, right before our eyes. For weeks, an underwater volcano that had been spewing ash and lava into the Pacific settled into a brand new island, rising 120 meters (400 feet) above the ocean’s surface. Geologists reckoned it wouldn’t be more than a couple of months before the island would succumb to erosion. Today, three years later, it’s still there. Scientists now estimate a far longer lifespan for the island of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, as it was unofficially christened, which could live on for six to 30 years. What’s more, its formation could lend valuable clues as to how similar underwater volcanoes erupted on Mars during its wet past, billions of years ago.