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April Fool's Joke? Or Island Fact?

You know how it goes every year on April first. Someone tells you a strange but seemingly true fact, and just when you start to feel really intrigued, cock your head sideways, and ask, "Really?" they burst into laughter. APRIL'S FOOL'S! So can you tell fact from fiction? Let's see. This Island Runaways newsflash comes from the tiny country of Tonga, an archipelago consisting of 177 islands.

(In beautiful Tonga. Photo by Sarah Kelemen Garber, Flickr.)

Here's the alleged scoop: A new island has just been discovered in the South Pacific. After the Hunga Tonga volcano started erupting in December 2014, gradually accumulated rock and sediment have formed a new land mass. This wonder of nature can be found approximately 28 miles northwest of Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa.

(The city center of Nuku'alofa. Photo by Yosomono, Flickr.)

So what do you think? Is a volcanic eruption in the Tongan archipelago creating a new South Pacific island? Or is this an invention by your friendly travel bloggers?

(A volcano erupting in Tonga. Photo by NguyenTanTin, Flickr.)

This is no April Fool's Joke, my fellow island lovers! It's bonafide news this year, reported by reliable sources such as BBC News. In fact, maybe you've already heard about this latest island addition to our planet?

At the moment, it doesn't look like anyone's going to be vacationing on this land mass, which is extremely hot and smells of sulphur. But maybe one day in the future, who knows? For now, though, travelers will stick with more comfortable Tongan tropical getaways...

(A more tranquil Tongan setting. Photo by Sarah Kelemen Garber, Flickr.)

Happy April Fool's Day, everybody!

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