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Images: Nafanua, Eel City, and the Crater of Death

Rising 4,360 meters (14,300 feet) from the seafloor off Samoa, Vailulu'u looks like an underwater version of Mount Fuji. (Courtesy Stan Hart, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Vailulu?u sits atop a hot spot where magma from the mantle periodically bursts through the ocean crust. It eventually may become the next island in the Samoan chain. (Illustration by Jayne Doucette, WHOI)

Maps of the caldera atop Vailulu'u, in 1999 and 2005, show a new volcano growing inside called Nafanua, which ireached 300 meters (1,000 feet) high in April 2005. (Stan Hart, WHOI)

Scientists found hundreds of greenish-white eels, up to a foot long, swarming in a hydrothermal community near Nafanua that they called "Eel City." (Photo courtesy of Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory)