A Shark-Infested Volcano Just Erupted In The Pacific

Keep reading to watch this amazing video

key point:

  • The infamous "Sharkcano", known as the Kavakis Volcano, is located in the Solomon Islands.
  • Kavachi's entire marine community appears to be accustomed to acidic, scorching hot water and frequent eruptions.
  • Sharks are sensitive to both the electric field in the ocean and the Earth's magnetic field, so their heightened senses may also alert them to an impending volcanic eruption.

" SHARKCANO " – the world's first shark volcano! Sure, it sounds like a cheesy sci-fi movie, but believe it or not, this thing is real. Yes, real sharks live inside undersea volcanoes. And this shark-infested volcano just erupted in the Pacific Ocean! NASA recently collected an image of a large plume emerging from the shark-infested submarine volcano Kavachi. But what is a school of sharks doing inside this active underwater volcano?

Kavachi "Shark" Volcano

The infamous "Sharkcano", known as the Kavakis Volcano, is located in the Solomon Islands. The volcano takes its name from the god of the sea "Kavachi". Locals on the island commonly refer to this volcano as "Rejo te Kvachi" or "Kavachi's Oven". Kavakis is an undersea volcano in the Pacific Ocean and one of the most active volcanoes around. The first officially recorded eruption occurred in 1939, and the volcano has continued to erupt since then. With each eruption, lava from the volcano forms new islands nearby. However, the islands are small and shallow, so they are quickly filled by eroding waves.

A shark-filled volcano just erupted in the Pacific 1
The Kavaki volcano is located near the Solomon Islands.

© Gilmore Tana/Shutterstock.com

Today, the summit of Kahuachi Volcano lies about 65 feet below the surface of the sea. From here, the volcano projects quite a masterful eruption of magma. These unique eruptions occur when a volcano's hot magma hits seawater. This collision produced a powerful explosion. Clouds of steam, ash and fragments of volcanic rock were ejected into the air above the ocean's surface. In short, it's not a very safe place.

Read more  magpie

a shocking discovery

Largest Shark: Great Hammerhead Shark
The hammerhead shark's unusual name comes from its unusual head shape, a stunning anatomy that maximizes the fish's ability to find its favorite meal: the stingray.

©frantisekhojdysz/Shutterstock.com

Scientists accidentally made a very shocking discovery while exploring the underwater crater of Kavakis in 2015. The original purpose of their expedition was to photograph and study the volcano itself, hopefully during an eruption. Soon there was a loud and violent explosion, allowing the team to capture some very exciting footage of one of Kavakis' infamous magma eruptions.

For a closer look, volcano researcher Dr. Brennan Phillips loaded an 80-pound baited drop camera directly into the volcano's center. The camera landed inside the crater, about 150 feet deep. The team were completely dumbfounded when they saw a huge silky shark swimming straight towards the camera!

Silky Shark (Carcharhinus falciformis)
Silky Shark – the type of shark found in craters.

©Shpatak/Shutterstock.com

Several other marine animals also occur within the crater. There are gelatinous zooplankton, larger fish such as snapper, bluefin trevally and sixgill stingrays. Most stunning, however, were several large silky and scalloped hammerhead sharks! Guys, that's right, real life sharks swim in underwater volcanoes! As Dr. Phillips said, "Have we discovered the 'Sharkcano'?" Yes, we did! "

Can sharks really live in volcanoes?

There may be hundreds of thousands of submarine volcanoes in Earth's oceans.

© Wade/Shutterstock.com

It is conceivable that the extremely harsh environmental conditions of underwater volcanoes are not suitable for marine animals to survive. In fact, analysis of the Kahuachi volcano shows that its lava is both andesite and basalt, containing silica, iron and magnesium. The water around the volcano is hot, acidic, and mixed with sulfur and volcanic particles. These conditions are generally not conducive to any fish, sharks or other types of marine life. So, can sharks really survive in such a harsh environment?

The answer is – very surprisingly – yes, they can! Sharks not only live in underwater volcanoes, but appear to thrive there. In fact, Kavachi's entire marine community seems accustomed to acidic, fiery hot water and frequent eruptions.

Read more  blob fish

📋 "The observation of populations of gelatinous animals, small fish and sharks inside the active crater raises new questions about the ecology of active submarine volcanoes and the extreme environments in which large marine animals can survive," the scientists said. pic.twitter.com/IJ5Xg2uYsf

— Metro (@MetroUK) May 25, 2022

Now, turning to a bigger question: Why would sharks want to live in underground volcanoes? What happens to sharks when volcanoes erupt?

Why do sharks want to live in volcanoes?

Silky Shark (Carcharhinus falciformis)
Silky sharks are just one of many marine creatures found in Kahuachi Volcano.

©Shpatak/Shutterstock.com

The murky waters around the volcano don't seem to bother the sharks, at least. In fact, it's a perfect fit for these large marine predators. While other fish cannot see clearly in these murky waters, the sharks can still continue to hunt. That's because sharks have a secret weapon: electroreceptors called the ampulla of Lorenzini, which detect electric fields in the water.

These unique electroreceptors give sharks a super sense that allows them to navigate even the murkiest waters. When fish and other marine animals move through the water, they generate electric currents. Sharks quickly sense these electric fields, allowing them to track and ambush prey.

In addition, volcanic basalt is extremely rich in iron, magnesium and other minerals. Its mineral-rich composition makes it an excellent base for coral development and growth. It is also jagged and porous, with many holes, cracks and crevices for fish to hide in. Because of this, seawater near volcanic areas often has large underwater communities teeming with marine life. This makes it an ideal hunting ground for sharks.

How do sharks find underwater volcanoes?

bull shark underwater
Sharks have special electroreceptors that allow them to sense electromagnetic fields and temperature changes in the ocean.

©William Bradberry/Shutterstock.com

Volcanoes provide a kind of oasis in the middle of the vast open ocean. Volcanic islands are excellent feeding stops for sharks as they host dense coral reefs that provide sanctuary and homes for a wide variety of marine wildlife. But how did the sharks find these isolated volcanic islands?

Read more  Emperor penguins

Volcanic lava is rich in iron and has strong magnetism. We now know that sharks can detect Earth's magnetic field and use it to navigate the vast oceans. Scientists are still not entirely sure how sharks detect magnetic fields. However, their Lorenzini ampulla may have played a role in this susceptibility, since electric and magnetic fields usually go hand in hand. Sharks likely use lava flows from volcanic islands and undersea volcanoes as a kind of compass.

What do sharks do when a volcano erupts?

Sharks are sensitive to both the electric field in the ocean and the Earth's magnetic field. Their heightened senses may also alert them to an impending eruption. After all, many animals can sense an impending earthquake days before it strikes, so why not before a volcano erupts?

Next:

  • How many volcanoes are there in the world? : You may not know that there are so many undersea volcanoes – do you know how many there are in the world? find out!
  • 5 Types of Volcanoes: Speaking of volcanoes – did you know there are 5 types? learn more!
  • Volcanoes in America: 169 Potentially Active Volcanoes in the United States See if there is one near you!

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Volcano eruption

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about the author


For 10 years I have been a professional writer with a special focus on nature, wildlife, ethnozoology and the human-animal relationship. My areas of interest include human-animal studies, ecocriticism, wildlife conservation, pets, and animal behavior. I graduated from Brigham Young University with a master's degree in comparative studies, focusing on the relationship between humans and the natural world. In my spare time, I enjoy exploring the outdoors, watching movies, reading, creating art, and taking care of my pets. Nothing makes me happier than spending a day in the company of animals.

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