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Does Frodo Know? There's Rumbling Near 'Mount Doom'

There's been a volcanic eruption at New Zealand's Mount Tongariro, where ash has been spewed thousands of feet into the air. Sightseers are being warned to stay well away.

What makes the news quite timely, though, as fans of the Lord of The Rings movies will tell you, is that Tongariro National Park served as the backdrop for the climatic scenes and that the park's Mount Ruapehu "stood in for Mount Doom."

Meanwhile, there's concern that Ruapehu also might soon erupt, The New Zealand Herald reports.

This news comes just as director Peter Jackson's next movie based on J.R.R. Tolkien's classic books arrives. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey premieres in New Zealand next week and around the world in December.

A volcanic eruption would be better publicity that what the movie got earlier this week, when the news broke that some of the animals used in the film died at the farm where they were being housed. Wranglers blamed unsafe conditions. The movie's producers said that when they found out about the problems, the moved quickly to fix them.

The BBC has video of Tongariro's eruption.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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