Bukololo has a vegetation coverage of roughly 80%, which includes a grass species that is tall and sharp edged. There is also a hibiscus tree which is very distinct from other known species. The Bukololo hibiscus has a dark blue flower, with an 18 inch diameter, throughout the island the trees all measure above 20 feet in height, giving the island a thick high canopy. Unconfirmed reports are detailing that Bukololo Island may also contain a new species of coconut palm. This coconut palm has produces a coconut fruit that has a purplish exocarp, mesocarp, and fibers. The endocarp, or interior of the coconut, is said to also be purplish with a purplish to blue colored coco juice. The University of Hawaii at Manoa whose archeology department sent the first expedition to Bukololo Island has yet to officially publish their findings.
The island was first discovered by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather satellite that was in a low orbit passing the southern hemisphere on February 14, 2013. This governmental agency of the United States and its meteorologist were not initially aware of the satellites discovery until the oceanic temperature data analysis found inconsistencies with temperature patterns exactly at the location of the island. Initial assumptions were dismissed by the NOAA as possible shallow coral formations, or sea garbage. On March 3, 2016 a second satellite was dispatched over the southern hemisphere, which confirmed the presence of an oceanic crust protrusion and the presence of substantial vegetation.
The initial discovery was not made public by the NOAA or other American federal agencies, in part because the Clinton administration wanted to make territorial claim to the island, and preserve the purity of its tiny ecosystem.
On December 1, 2016, a team of six archeologist led by Professor Kali Franco from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, made landfall at the small island for a 7-day observation and data collection expedition. In an effort to preserve the islands pristine ecosystem, photographic evidence, soil samples, rock and lava samples were taken. Professor Franco, who offered the Hawaiian word for “lost tribe”, Bukololo, is now being considered the official name of the island.
The University of Hawaii has yet to publish photographs, but reports have began to surface of the discovery of a few new species of butterflies, coconut trees, and hibiscus plants.
At the October 9, 2018 convening of the United Nations, the United States petitioned the full council for recognition of territorial claim to the Bukololo Island, and have submitted claims that the island has never been inhabited by humans.