In this note, we study submanifold geometry of the Atiyah--Hitchin manifold, a double cover of the 2-monopole moduli space, which plays an important role in various settings such as the supersymmetric background of string theory. When the manifold is naturally identified as the total space of a line bundle over S^2, the zero section is a distinguished minimal 2-sphere of considerable interest. In particular, there has been a conjecture about the uniqueness of this minimal 2-sphere among all closed minimal 2-surfaces. We show that this minimal 2-sphere satisfies the ``strong stability condition" proposed in our earlier work, and confirm the global uniqueness as a corollary.
We identify a strong stability condition on minimal submanifolds that implies uniqueness and dynamical stability properties. In particular, we prove a uniqueness theorem and a dynamical stability theorem of the mean curvature flow for minimal submanifolds that satisfy this condition. The latter theorem states that the mean curvature flow of any other submanifold in a neighborhood of such a minimal submanifold exists for all time, and converges exponentially to the minimal one. This extends our previous uniqueness and stability theorem which applies only to calibrated submanifolds of special holonomy ambient manifolds.