<p><strong>Captured by high-resolution cameras aboard a robotic submersible, mineral-rich water spews from hydrothermal vents in this June 30 picture of Kawio Barat, a massive undersea <a id="v92v" title="volcano" href="http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/natural-disasters/volcano-profile/">volcano</a> off <a id="bshw" title="Indonesia" href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/indonesia-guide/">Indonesia</a>. <br></strong></p><p>During the past few weeks, the submerged volcano—one of the world's largest—was mapped and explored in detail for the first time by a joint Indonesian-U.S. expedition north of the island of <a id="u7-q" title="Sulawesi (map)" href="http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/map-machine#s=r&amp;c=-1.9764730799149242, 122.04495996236794&amp;z=5">Sulawesi (map)</a>.</p><p>Mining companies first spotted the Kawio Barat volcano in the 1990s with satellite altimetry. But "we were the first to go there with a [remotely operated vehicle] and actually discover hydrothermal fluids coming out of the volcano," microbiologist <a id="p7xl" title="Jim Holden" href="http://www.bio.umass.edu/micro/faculty/holden.html">Jim Holden</a>, chief U.S. scientist for the Kawio Barat expedition, said in an email.</p><p>(Watch <a id="jvq9" title="video of the giant Kawio Barat underwater volcano" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/07/100714-indonesia-okeanos-volcano-exploration-vin/">video of the giant Kawio Barat underwater volcano</a>.)</p><p><em>—John Roach </em></p>

Deep Smoker

Captured by high-resolution cameras aboard a robotic submersible, mineral-rich water spews from hydrothermal vents in this June 30 picture of Kawio Barat, a massive undersea volcano off Indonesia.

During the past few weeks, the submerged volcano—one of the world's largest—was mapped and explored in detail for the first time by a joint Indonesian-U.S. expedition north of the island of Sulawesi (map).

Mining companies first spotted the Kawio Barat volcano in the 1990s with satellite altimetry. But "we were the first to go there with a [remotely operated vehicle] and actually discover hydrothermal fluids coming out of the volcano," microbiologist Jim Holden, chief U.S. scientist for the Kawio Barat expedition, said in an email.

(Watch video of the giant Kawio Barat underwater volcano.)

—John Roach

Photograph courtesy INDEX/NOAA

Pictures: Giant Undersea Volcano Revealed

More than 11,500 feet tall, the newly explored peak off Indonesia is home to odd creatures, spewing vents, and a potentially new squid.

Read This Next

An ambitious new Florida trail links two U.S. national parks
How reading the night sky helped Black Americans survive
Does a woman’s fertility really plummet at age 35?

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet