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The Best Island of the Year is also the world's newest: Niijima, formed by an undersea volcano in November.
A picture of Niijima taken Dec. 8 by NASA's Earth Observing satellite. (NASA via Wikimedia Commons)
And the GlobalPost 2013 End of the Year Award for Best Island goes to: Niijima.
Unlike the Rock of the Year (Gibraltar), which has been around for millennia, the Island of the Year is brand spanking new.
Niijima wins "Best Island of the Year," not only for being born in 2013, which is not something many other islands can say, but also for defying skeptics who said she wouldn't make it through the night.
Baby Niijima was born in November, mewling and puking up volcanic ash along the Pacific's "Ring of Fire," 600 miles south of Tokyo.
When the Japanese coast guard first spotted the new island on Nov. 20, scientists weren't sure how long it would stick around, since volcanic islands are often consumed by the sea within a relatively short period of time.
Volcanic eruptions in the 1970s and '80s created similar islands that were in time submerged — some completely — in the ocean.
But Niijima would not be getting GlobalPost's Island of the Year award if it didn't show promise.
Not only does Niijima appear to have staying power, she is growing!
Nishinoshima in 1978. (Wikimedia Commons)
Within a month of her life, Niijima had tripled in size to nearly a third of a mile across.
Still today, every 30 seconds, two craters on the islet shoot smoke into the sky as high as a football field is long.
And just last week, Niijima melded to nearby Nishinoshima, latched onto her island mama, if you will.
Stay strong, Niijima. This is the first year of the rest of your life.