General view of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, with Mount Rinjani in the distance on July 23, 2013 in Probolinggo, Indonesia. (Photo : Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
Scientists recently discovered hammerhead sharks living inside a volcano in the South Pacific.
Upworthy reported that oceanographer Brennan Phillips helmed an expedition into the South Pacific to get more information about a submarine volcano, Kavachi, situated close to the Solomon Islands. The volcano was active as of 2014. According to Phillips’ team, the summit of the volcano was about 100 feet below sea level and could shoot volumes of magma about one-fourth mile into the air, thereby creating temporary islands on the surface of the ocean. They were the ones who studied the underwater volcano up close.
National Geographic revealed that Phillips and his team were allegedly scared about going too near the crater. Their goal was to create a map of Kavachi’s peak and get information about the biology, geology and chemical plumes of the volcano. They had no specific idea how often the volcano erupts, although it actively spews ash, hot lava and steam. The environment is very dangerous overall.
The team sent underwater cameras to view the inside of the crater of Kavachi and found that there were a number of living organisms, such as crabs, a sixgill stingray and sharks. They particularly spotted a silky shark, a Pacific sleeper shark and a hammerhead shark swimming inside the crater of Kavachi.
“These large animals are living in what you have to assume is much hotter and much more acidic water, and they’re just hanging out. What sort of changes have they undergone? Are there only certain animals that can withstand it?” Phillips stated in another National Geographic report. The team were also curious whether the sharks and other animals underwent changes to survive in extreme environments. Even though Kavachi was not erupting, the seafloor vents continue to release carbon dioxide and methane gas bubbles. The seawater had different hues because of the reduced sulfur and iron. The presence of these living organisms opens a variety of questions since they can live in places that humans are not capable of.
The researchers had a lot of questions, such as whether the animals within the volcano were able to receive an early warning to evacuate the caldera before magma explodes or whether they simply get trapped and die in the rising temperature and lava. Some speculate that the sharks may be living inside the crater to stay away from human beings, who pose a bigger threat to them, Upworthy noted.
More updates and details on the Kavachi sharks are expected soon.