Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Eruptions Seem to Form a New Island

July 16, 2018, 4:18 PM UTC

Hawaii has added another island to its domain.

The ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea volcano have resulted in a new land mass located north of the Kapoho ocean entry on the Big Island of Hawaii.

It’s not exactly a tourist friendly place right now, given that it’s only about 20 to 30 feet in diameter. (Also, there’s the whole matter of it being made of super-hot magma and scalding steam.) But it does make Hawaii the only state that is technically getting larger these days.

Observers noticed the new island Friday and say it’s possible it’s part of the fissure 8 lava flow, which continues to pour into the ocean.

There is, however, the possibility this isn’t an actual island and might be what’s called a “submarine tumulus,” a land mass that grew underwater, eventually emerging above sea level.

Like any heavy lava flow area, the new island is going to be a draw for tourists, even though this one is remote. Smart ones will stay away (or charter a helicopter flight to take a look) as Hawaiian officials are handing out fines of up to $5,000 for taking volcano pictures.

The Kilauea eruption has destroyed hundreds of homes on the island, which could result in an insurance crisis, and even evaporated the island’s largest lake. Scientists say they still have no estimate for when the eruption will end.