Out in the Solomon Islands, there’s an underwater volcano that has fascinated scientists for years. In 2015, researchers were able to explore the crater of Kavachi during a period of dormancy, and they found something quite interesting.
Turns out, the highly acidic waters just above the volcano helped an abundance of sea creatures thrive, including everything from a few rare sulfur-loving microbial species to sharks.
“Populations of gelatinous animals, small fish, and sharks were observed inside the active crater,” the scientists wrote in their report, “raising new questions about the ecology of active submarine volcanoes and the extreme environments in which large marine animals can exist.”
And it’s not that there are just a few sharks passing by for a warm refresher; the number of sharks and where they swim has shocked the team.
“Two species of shark, the scalloped hammerhead Sphyrna lewini and the silky shark Carcharhinus falciformis, approached the baited camera multiple times in an aggressive pattern; in some cases, sharks appeared to be swimming from greater depths inside the crater.”
Earlier this month, scientists recorded a large plume of “discolored water” that’s been spewing from the volcano since 2021. The last recorded major eruption of Kavachi happened in 2014, although the Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program states that the volcano has had near-constant small eruptions since 1939.
So let’s recap for those who didn’t expect the world to end this way. There are sharks swimming out of the deepest parts of an underwater volcano that is constantly erupting. And they’re aggressive. Talk about demon spawn!