Underwater volcano eruption – Mutant sharks live in “Sharkcano”.

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to: Yannick Hanky


NASA satellite images show new activities of the underwater volcano Kavachi in the Pacific Ocean – also called “Sharkcano”: a species of mutant shark lives in the crater of the volcano.

Solomon Islands (Oceania) – Do you know “Sharknado”? A series of films about sharks caught in a hurricane and thrown over major cities in the United States. Pure fantasy, of course, a Hollywood production. The situation is different with “Sharkcano”, an undersea volcano located near the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. This takes its name from two types of sharks that live in the crater of the volcano underwater. NASA is now warning that “Sharkcano” is beginning to explode.

NASA warns: the eruption of the underwater volcano “Sharkcano” – the habitat of mutated sharks

As the Daily Mail reports, satellite images show a cloud of discolored water that was ejected from Kavachi volcano on May 14, 2022. This is about 15 miles (24.14 km) south of Fangono Island. According to the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program, the volcano entered an eruption phase as early as October 2021. In addition, new satellite data from NASA indicates multi-day activity in April and May 2022.

Official NASA satellite images show the eruption of the underwater volcano Kavachi, also known as “Sharkcano”. © imago

Mutant sharks have adapted to the harsh conditions in the crater of Kavachi Sharkcano

According to NASA, previous studies have already shown that the highly acidic water plumes typically contain particulate matter, volcanic rock fragments, and sulfur. However, this is not a problem for the resident sharks, they simply have adapted to the extremely hot conditions. Like the oldest shark in the world, 400 years old, alive and kicking.

Adapted from the “Sharknado” movie series: Underwater Volcano Kavachi also known as “Sharkcano”.

Two species of shark were found during a 2015 scientific expedition to Kavachi volcano, often nicknamed “Sharkcano” in reference to “Sharknado.” These are hammerhead and silky sharks that live in the underwater crater of the volcano.

The sulfur in the underwater volcano Kavachi allows special types of marine life to thrive

In addition, the researchers found six-gill stingrays, snapper, jellyfish, and sulfur-eating microbial communities. However, the focus was on sharks. Their presence has raised “new questions about the ecology of active underwater volcanoes and the harsh environments in which large marine animals can live.” This is how researchers described in 2016 in their article “Exploring Sharkcano,” which may be in “competition” with the massive Long Valley Caldera in the Sierra Nevada, which has been erupting 800,000 years ago.

Mutant sharks in the South Pacific? Researcher with a steep thesis

Scientists believe that sharks must eventually mutate to survive in the hot environment. “These large animals live in hotter, more acidic waters,” marine engineer Brennan Phillips told National Geographic at the time. The story of a diver and a shark, who became close friends and “cuddled” each day, made headlines lately – but it’s questionable whether the man would also dare approach the Sharkcano mutant.

One wonders what kind of harsh environment these animals are adapted to. What changes have they gone through? Are there only certain animals that can tolerate it?

Kavachi volcano is one of the most active undersea volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean: at least eleven eruptions since the 1970s.

In fact, Kavachi is one of the most active underwater volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean and is also known as Rejo te Kvachi, which translates to “Kavachi furnace”. The first reports of its activity date back to 1939. There have been at least eleven major eruptions since the late 1970s. Two eruptions, in 1976 and 1991, were so powerful that they created new islands. However, it was gradually dismantled and swept away by a sea storm.

The Sharkcano explodes and expels ash, jets of steam, and hot white “bombs”.

According to estimates, the summit of Sharkcano is 20 meters below sea level. The volcano is located on the sea floor at a depth of 0.75 miles (1.2 kilometers). Occasionally, regular volcanic eruptions pierce the surface and then spew jets of steam, ash, volcanic rock fragments, and hot white “bombs” above the surface.

The satellite image shows island groups in the South Pacific Ocean.
In the South Pacific, NASA captured images of the underwater eruption of the Sharkcano volcano. © imago

The current activities of “Sharkcano” are of particular interest due to the massive eruption of the submarine volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai in January 2022. This volcanic eruption is one of the most extreme of its kind in the past 2000 years. 76 scientists from 17 countries compiled the results of their research in the specialized journal “Science”.

Underwater volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai with more explosive power than the Hiroshima atomic bomb

The volcanic eruption triggered a pressure wave that spread at a speed of about 1,100 kilometers per hour. In interaction with the sea surface, the ‘lamb wave’ was also spurred by meteorites that rushed before the tsunami that erupted in the Pacific Ocean.

The eruption of the underwater volcano Hongja Tonga-Hung Hapai caused an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale and sent tsunamis toward many islands, which became covered in ash and cut off from the outside world. The eruption of the Hong Tonga-Hung Hapai volcano is said to have unleashed explosive forces equivalent to up to 30 million tons of TNT – a hundred times more than the atomic bomb of Hiroshima.

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