New underwater camera footage has revealed that an array of sea life lives successfully inside an active ocean volcano. National Geographic reported that the volcano, called Kavachi, is located in the Southwest Pacific Ocean, in the Solomon islands. An underwater camera was able to explore the inside of the volcano, and consequentially provided footage which confirms that Kavachi acts as a home for sea creatures, including sharks and stingrays.
The first recorded eruption of the volcano occurred in 1939, and the most recent eruption took place in January 2014. However, ocean engineer Brennan Phillips explains that there is not always life in the volcano, stating in the video below that, “When it’s erupting, there’s no way anything could live in there.” This discovery makes finding and filming the life in the volcanic waters truly incredible, as they are living in a space that could be completely disrupted at any moment, which begs the question of if the sea creatures know when the volcano is going to erupt again, and therefore move out of the area.
The underwater camera was dropped into the hot, acidic water, where it traveled past the volcano summit, which is 66 feet below the water surface, and landed inside the crater at 147 feet. As the underwater camera travels deeper into the water, dramatic water color changes can be seen, as it goes from a light blue to a deeper blue, before changing entirely to reveal a murky copper coloring. During the full hour that the camera was filming underwater, three different species were captured on the film. The first of these was the sixgill stingray, followed by two separate species of shark, the scalloped hammerheads, and the silky sharks.
During the video, Brennan Phillips, an ocean engineer, reflects on the discovery of the sea life living within the active volcano. He questioned what happens when the volcano erupts again in the future, “Do they leave? Do they have some sort of sign that it’s about to erupt? Do they blow up sky-high in little bits?” Although Phillips states that the team arrived at the project with one question and, after seeing the footage, left with many, he claims that this is the main factor that makes this project such a great one. Although there are many unanswered questions, which include what the animals do when the volcano erupts, and if there are many more species of life living within the volcano, the fact that there is video evidence that there is any life at all within the volcano is a huge revelation and leaves a lot more to be discovered and explored in the future.
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