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Infamous Shark Volcano Is Beginning To Erupt, NASA Claims

by : Claire Reid on :
Infamous Shark Volcano Is Beginning To Erupt, NASA Claims
Infamous Shark Volcano Is Beginning To Erupt, NASA Claims (Alamy/NASA Earth Observatory)

An underwater volcano that is home to sharks has entered an active phase of eruption, according to NASA

NASA satellites have been able to gather data on Kavachi Volcano in the Southwest Pacific Solomon Islands and have recorded discoloured water around the volcano on a number of days in April and May. 

The space agency said: "(An image) acquired on May 14, 2022, by the Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) on Landsat 9, shows a plume of discoloured water being emitted from the submarine volcano.

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"Previous research has shown such plumes of superheated, acidic water usually contain particulate matter, volcanic rock fragments, and sulphur.

Kavachi Volcano. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
Kavachi Volcano. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

"Prior to this recent activity, large eruptions were observed at Kavachi in 2014 and 2007."

In 2015, Kavachi Volcano was explored using cameras in an expedition led by National Geographic grantee Dr Brennan Phillips. 

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Upon viewing their data, the team of scientists were shocked to discover that hammerhead sharks, reef sharks and scalloped hammerheads were all living inside the crater. 

Speaking at the time, Phillips said: “When it’s erupting, there’s no way anything could live in there.

"That’s what makes discovering these animals down inside the volcano so perplexing. They’re living in a place where they could ‘die at any moment,’ so how do they survive?”

Researchers were shocked to find the volcano was home to sharks. Credit: Alamy
Researchers were shocked to find the volcano was home to sharks. Credit: Alamy
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He added: "It's very turbid, so the water is very cloudy. None of these things are good for fish."

However, the volcanic waters are actually rich in nutrients which is most likely why sealife flock to the area. 

Volcano data researcher Kadie Bennis told the New York Post: “We see it all the time, where even just on the surface, there are people in cities built around volcanoes, or there’s this volcanic mouse species that like to live around other sorts of volcanoes in different parts of the world.

“So it’s completely normal for there to be sharks and other marine life around underwater volcanoes since it’s also just contributing to the ecosystem that way.”

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Kavachi Volcano is in the Southwest Pacific Solomon Islands. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
Kavachi Volcano is in the Southwest Pacific Solomon Islands. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Marine ecologist Michael Heithaus, from the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida International University said that sharks would be able to detect when an eruption could be due to happen. 

He told 9News: "It looked like the sharks in the volcano were used to dealing with eruptions.

"You would think it's dangerous but studies have shown us they can detect approaching hurricanes and cyclones, so they may be able to detect when something bad is about to happen and move out of the way.

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"It just demonstrates how adaptable sharks are."

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Claire Reid

Claire is a journalist at UNILAD

Topics: News, Animals, World News, NASA