Vailulu'u Seamount

The underwater Vailulu'u Seamount, discovered by Chief Scientist Stan Hart, was formerly called Fa’afafine seamount.

An article ‘Voyage to Vailulu'u;, describes how Hart named it Fa’afafine, as meaning “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”, because ‘the size of the volcano was a surprise and wasn’t at all what it appeared to be’.

Hart associated the word ‘Fa‘afafine’ with deceit; a common misconception perpetuated over the centuries through early accounts of Western explorers, missionaries, and merchants.

The Fa‘afafine volcano was later given a new name Vailulu'u, meaning ‘sacred rain that supposedly fell with every gathering of the last king of Sāmoa, which came as a result of a naming competition among high school students in American Sāmoa in 2000.

Yuki discusses Vailulu'u Seamount

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