Guyots are named after the Swiss-American geographer and geologist Arnold Henry Guyot (died 1884). Guyots are most commonly found in the Pacific Ocean. One of the best studied guyots is the Koko Guyot (also sometimes known as Kinmei and Koko Seamount), a 48.1 million year old guyot, which lies near the southern end of the Emperor seamounts, about north of the "bend" in the volcanic Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chainmarker. Pillow lava has been sampled on the north west flank of Koko Seamount, and the oldest dated lava is 40 million years old. Seismic studies indicate that it is built on a thick portion of the Pacific Plate. Koko guyot was named after the 58th emperor of Japan, Emperor Koko (A.D. 885-887) by geologist Thomas Davies and his colleagues in 1972. The guyot is elongate in shape, aligned northwest-southeast (the same direction as the chain), and has a gentle slope and a large, flat top. Koko gyuot rises from the deep ocean floor about 5,000 m in height.
Over the past 80 million years volcano eruptions and continued movement of the Pacific Plate over the stationary Hawaiian deep-seated hot-spot have left a long trail of (volcanic) seamounts and volcanoes across the Pacific Ocean floor. The resulting Hawaiian Ridge-Emperor Seamounts chain consists of at least 129 volcanoes and extends some 6,000 km from the Aleutian Trench off Alaska to the "Big Island" of Hawaii. It makes a bend with the Emperor Seamount Ridge as a first leg and the Hawaiian Ridge as the second leg. The bend has for as long time been interpreted as a major change in the direction of Pacific plate motion – given that the (fixed) hot spot is thought to be stationary. The age of the Koko guyot fits well with the assumption that the change of direction started around 50 million years ago and went on for several million years (completed after 8 million years). Another interpretation of the change of direction is that the hot spot moved southward until about 45 years ago, and only then became became fixed.