Photos: The heart of Hawaii

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  1. Honolulu daze

    The sun sets on Honolulu, Hawaii's largest city. (Robert Y. Ono / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Lei a Mai Tai on me

    Colorful umbrellas block out the sun for visitors to the beachside Mai Tai Bar at the popular Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. (Lucy Pemoni / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Aerobic fun & sun

    Seniors exercise in the waters of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. (Lucy Pemoni / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. National treasure

    The Ionlani Palace stands among banyan and palm tress behind guilded gates decorated with a royal seal in Honolulu. The Iolani palace is America's only official royal residence. (Lucy Pemoni / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Bathing beauties

    Sunbathers on the beach. (Craig Aurness / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. To honor thy wife

    Waterfalls flow in the gardens of the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. The museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in honor of his late wife Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha family. (Lucy Pemoni / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Undersea awe

    Elani Mousos, 4, of Calgary, Canada, looks at the "Hunters of the Reef" at the Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu. The Aquarium is built along side the shoreline next to a living reef. (Lucy Pemoni / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Remember Arizona

    A U.S. flag flies at half mast aboard the USS Arizona Memorial during the ceremony honoring the 64th anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 2005 at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (Marco Garcia / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Manic manini

    A school of manini fish swim over the coral reef at Hanauma Bay, near Honolulu. (Donald Miralle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Paradise found

    The sun sets on Waikiki. (Lucy Pemoni / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 5/29/2007 3:12:07 PM ET 2007-05-29T19:12:07

Real estate is often a long-term investment. But 10,000 years?

Lo'ihi Development Co. will soon start offering oceanview lots speculators won't even be able to stand on for many millennia. That's because they're currently submerged more than 3,000 feet below sea level — on an underwater volcano called Lo'ihi, located about 20 miles southeast of the Big Island.

A Web site will be renovated in the next couple of weeks to officially begin selling parcels for an introductory price of $39.95. Buyers will receive a brochure and a "deed," but much like Internet groups that claim to sell stars, they probably can't call themselves owners.

"What's the scam?" said Norm Nichols, co-developer of the online venture. "If you really think there's something here that you can't live with, nobody's forcing you to buy it. It's meant to be fun."

The Web site advertises, "Lo'ihi Seaview Estates: Real Estate for the Future. Grand Water View Front Lots." A photo of the sales office is a raft in the middle of the ocean.

Nichols and his business partner, Linda Kramer, both Honolulu entrepreneurs, envision online chat rooms and newsletters to discuss everything from street names to what kind of government to install. They want to hold a "homeowners association" meeting — a boat ride over the volcano — every April Fool's Day.

Scientists don't really know when, or if, Lo'ihi will break the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Many guess about 10,000 years, but it could be much longer than that.

Stephen Levins, head of the state consumer affairs office, said the offer could be a problem if it were serious. "However, if the Web site is clear it's a parody and you're not going to be receiving an actual interest in real estate, that's something else," he said.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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