NASA Warns This Sulfurous, Acidic ‘Sharkcano’ Is About to Erupt – ExtremeTech
NASA scientists have warned that a submerged volcano full of sharks in the Solomon Islands may be about to erupt. The volcano’s name is Kavachi, and it’s part of the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire.
The Kavachi volcano is one of the most active submarine volcanoes in the Pacific, NASA said. It was dubbed “Sharkano” after two species of shark were found living in its crater.
Kavachi is releasing noxious sulfur compounds and caustic acid into the water. Its summit lies about 20 meters (65 feet) below sea level.
A 2015 scientific expedition to Kavachi’s Oven revealed a vibrant ecosystem, including hammerhead sharks and silky sharks, thriving among reef fish in the caustic depths of the crater.
The many-talented sharkcano produces basaltic and andesitic lava, and produces pyroclastic clouds when andesite meets water, causing steam explosions and throwing incandescent bombs that eject ash, volcanic rock fragments, and molten rock.
The sharks in Kavachi’s sharkcano have adapted to their environment and live in iron- and sulfur-rich hydrothermal vents, where bacteria from the depths of the ocean still exist and have formed symbiotic relationships with hardcore hydrothermal vent dwellers.
The scientists who studied Kavachi noted that the extreme environment of the crater may offer clues to the types of animals that have survived past major changes in ocean chemistry. These current adaptations can give a glimpse into the pasts of these fascinating oceanic creatures.
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