NASA Warns Acidic “Sharkcano” Is Starting To Erupt
In 2015, an expedition set out to investigate the Kavachi submarine volcano in the Solomon Islands. The volcano had recently had a lull in activity, making it possible to explore inside the active crater.
In the extreme conditions of acidic water containing high levels of sulfur on top of an active volcano, they found more life than they were expecting. As well as microbial species that thrive on sulfur, they discovered two species of sharks – hammerheads and the silky shark – living in the crater of the volcano. Their findings were published in 2016 in the journal Oceanography.
“Populations of gelatinous animals, small fish, and sharks were observed inside the active crater,” the team wrote in their paper, “raising new questions about the ecology of active submarine volcanoes and the extreme environments in which large marine animals can exist.”
The team dubbed the volcano “sharkcano”, given the large number of sharks apparently happily living in the hot, acidic waters. Kavachi is located about 24 kilometers (15 miles) south of Vangunu Island.
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