A once-hidden Japanese volcano has been rising up out of the Pacific ocean. Thanks to new research published last month in the journal Geology, scientists now have a better understanding of how this very young island formed. Nishinoshima is a volcanic island about 620 miles south of Tokyo, which was first seen erupting in 1973. According to IFLScience, it’s part of a much larger underwater volcano that reaches nearly two miles high and 58 miles in circumference at its base.

In November 2013, explosive volcanic activity was reported near the island of Nishinoshima. Within a month, enough lava had flowed up to the ocean surface to create a new island 82 feet above sea level. And by the end of the year, this new island merged with Nishinoshima to create an even larger island. READ MORE