Timelapse video of Tonga island's creation helping scientists gain better understanding of Mars

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In 2015, a volcanic island exploded out of the Pacific Ocean, and it has been evolving ever since.

The Tongan island of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai is one of Earth's newest landforms and it could tell scientists where to look for evidence of life on Mars, according to BBC. 

Scientists are now watching the erosion carefully, as they think they can see the remnants of similar water-birthed islands on Mars. 

What the researchers see on Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai could potentially be something to help them better understand the water environment on Mars, as well as whether the conditions might have been favourable for the initiation of life. 

Chief scientist at the US space agency's (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center Dr Jim Garvin told the BBC: "We're going to use [the island] on Earth to train us to understand Mars".

"The thought was that we might be able to use recognition of these kinds of landforms to be an indication of palaeowater stories, depths and longevities on the Red Planet." 

The island of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai grew out of the Hunga volcano, a 1.3 kilometre-high mountain that is almost completely submerged in the southwest Pacific. 

A new NASA study said the newly formed island was initially projected to last a few months but now it has a projected 30-year lease of life.

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