A large, floating island of volcanic pumice in the South Pacific has some scientists wondering if it could drift long enough to get to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and help that reef grow more coral.
Earlier this month, NASA satellites took photos of a huge “pumice raft” floating near Tonga, evidence of a recent underwater volcano eruption.
The “pumice raft” is slowly drifting to the west, and if it stays together could even reach Australia, according to the University of Tasmania’s Dr. Martin Jutzeler, who told the BBC:
“It possibly could reach Australia in a year’s time, but we don’t know if it could even last.”
As these pumice rocks drift, they tend to attract marine life, so if the pumice does reach Australia, it could help rejuvenate the Great Barrier Reef, which has undergone tremendous coral bleaching in recent years.
(Photo credit: NASA Earth Observatory/Joshua Stevens)