The pumice raft, as seen on August 13, 2019. Courtesy: NASA Earth Observatory/Joshua Stevens, using data from the US Geological Survey.
A large raft of pumice is beginning to arrive in Australia after floating across the Southwest Pacific for a year.
The field of pumice -- which is roughly twice the size of Manhattan -- is comprised of trillions of individual pumice stones. It was spewed into the ocean in August 2019 by an underwater volcano off the northwest coast of Tonga.
Now, pumice stones are starting to wash up on the shores of southeast Queensland, where they have been gathering since April.
VIDEO: MORE ON THE PUMICE STONES (RECORDED IN AUGUST 2019)
GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Experts are keeping a close eye on the migrating raft because they believe it may provide nutrients and transport new life to Australia's struggling Great Barrier Reef.
“Each piece of pumice is a home and a vehicle for an organism, and it’s just tremendous,” Associate Professor Scott Bryan of QUT, who has been studying the impact of pumice rafts for nearly 20 years, said in a statement.
“The sheer numbers of individuals and this diversity of species is being transported thousands of kilometers in only a matter of months is really