Our planet's youngest island has a tongue-twister of a name: Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai. It exploded out of a huge submerged volcanic mountain in spectacular style, throwing ash and rock into the air.
Since the drama of its birth passed, though, scientists have been fascinated by the story of its survival. As Pacific waves lashed at it, researchers expected the island to erode away in months. But almost three years on, it's still there – a windswept volcanic cone of about two-and-a-half square kilometres.
Its entire life so far has been recorded on satellite images, and the researchers studying it have since been able to visit the island, collecting rock and soil samples. Jim Garvin from Nasa has been there and explained that it was a rare template for understanding how similar looking volcanoes on the surface of the Red Planet may have evolved.
But scientists don't expect it to stick around forever: storm action should eventually dismantle it. But they estimate they'll have about two to three decades to watch it very closely before its demise.