National Geographic scientists discovered several sharks living in an underwater volcano.
Found almost by chance, the team led by Brennan Phillips approached the Kavachi submarine volcano in the South Pacific off the coast of the Solomon Islands.
The study intended to look for hydrothermal activity after an eruption was recorded in 2014. Everyone’s surprise was finding signs of life in the area.
Due to the heat and acidity resulting from the eruption, the area can’t be habitable, which is why the expedition was carried out by robots equipped with deep-water cameras.
“Videos from inside the main Kavachi caldera show some jellyfish… Then we see some small fish and then hammerheads. One of the sharks looks especially neat even though it’s inside the volcano ,”
Phillips tells NatGeo.
In 2017 and 2018, the team returned to conduct tests to help determine why sharks and other species have tolerance for these conditions that are intolerable for life. The acidic pH, the concentrations of CO2 and other chemicals together with the temperatures should kill what is close to the area.
For Brennan, the species that inhabit close to the volcano must have evolved in some way to detect changes in the volcano and be able to anticipate any incident that might occur in the area.