The dome growth of Mount St. Helens from 2004 through 2008.

Wednesday marks the 36th anniversary of the deadliest volcanic event in U.S. history: the eruption of Mount St. Helens, which killed every living thing in a 230 mile radius. But the slopes around the volcano are now beginning to repopulate with plant and animal life, giving biologists a unique opportunity to watch an ecosystem develop in real time.

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