Let’s all play Mother Nature’s favorite game show: Is it real, or is it the plot of a cheaply produced sci-fi B movie? Today’s submission is “sharkcano.” Here’s the premise: An explosion from an underwater volcano in the Pacific Ocean reveals that sharks have adapted to be able to live inside it.
That’s pretty obviously a spin-off from the Sharknado franchise, right? Nope! It’s real, and NASA has satellite images to prove it.
The Kavachi Volcano, an underwater volcano located in the Pacific Ocean’s Solomon Islands, erupted on May 14, according to images captured by NASA’s extensive monitoring equipment. That’s not a huge surprise — Kavachi is one of the most active submarine volcanoes in the Pacific, according to the agency, and has been in an eruptive phase since October 2021. It was just a matter of time before it blew, and the resulting plume of water was visible from space, which is absolutely wild for its own reasons.
More wild, though, is the fact that there were apparently sharks living inside the Kavachi volcano. Two different species call the underwater heat mountain home — the result of significant adaptations that allow the big, toothy fish to survive the conditions surrounding the area. Their presence has been noted for a few years, where they’ve managed to make a home in a crater despite the presence of acidic water and sulfur. The sharks aren’t alone, either: Microbial communities that love the sulfur have taken up residence in the volcano, too.
This is believed the first explosion since the sharks were identified, but don’t worry, they didn’t come pouring out of the volcano like lava. I’m sure they will in the SyFy channel’s movie about the event, though.