"There's an awful lot of volcanos on the sea floor, most of which are very old – tens and hundreds of millions of years old," said Eakins, who led the discovery.
"To find one that is geologically recent, within just the last hundred or few thousand years, is an exciting discovery."
Retrieving the rocks was a huge challenge that Vukajlovich compared to dangling a bucket off a hot air balloon and trying to catch a handful of rocks from a hillside. The researchers attempted three dredges Friday but came up empty. On Sunday, they returned to a site where a sonar survey of the sea floor had identified what appeared to be a volcanic cone at the bottom of a ridge.