The 13th Floor

Underwater Camera Footage Reveals LIVE SHARKS Inside an Active Volcano

I swear this is not a sneaky promotion for a SyFy monster movie called SHARKANO; I’m actually surprised they haven’t pounced on this concept already (though there are some pretty good fan parodies out there). Nope, this is the real deal, courtesy of a 2015 episode of National Geographic’s EXPEDITION RAW.

The footage originated from a robot sub on a mission to study hydrothermal activity in the crater of active underwater volcano Kavachi, located just 66 feet below the surface of the South Pacific in the Solomon Islands.

Image Credit: NOAA.gov/Wikimedia Commons

The volcano has erupted many times over the past century — including a major blast less than a year before this recorded expedition — so even approaching the area was a dicey situation, and the crew guiding the submersible camera were quite aware of the major risks involved.

With that said, scientists were shocked when they reviewed the footage shot inside the crater, 147 feet down, which revealed several creatures casually swimming around inside it — including two different shark species (a silky shark and a scalloped hammerhead) and a six-gill stingray.

The team of scientists were baffled, since a crater like this is one of the most dangerous places for any living creature to inhabit. Not only do the high temperatures and acidic composition of the ash plume make it a hostile and toxic environment, but a major eruption could happen at any moment — literally roasting them alive in an instant, or even blasting them straight out of the water like a bomb.

Image Credit: National Geographic via YouTube

This discovery raised the question of whether these species were able to sense subtle changes in temperature and/or seismic activity in the area, enabling them to predict a potential eruption and escape.

 

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