I love those rare chances in life when science is way cooler than anything you can fond in TV or movies. I will admit I am a fan of the Sharknado movies. They are just so bad that they are actually kind of brilliant, kind of like those dogs that are so ugly that they are adorable. What scientists have discovered in the Pacific ocean puts Sharknado to shame, and it is REAL.
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Researcher Brennan Phillips lead an expedition to explore Kavachi, which is an active underwater volcano in the Solomon islands. The purpose for the mission was to map the volcano and learn as much as possible about this extremely unusual geological phenomenon. I mean, it’s not every day that you get to check out an underwater volcano. Take the normal challenges of an underwater expedition and add in the fact that you’re studying an ACTIVE volcano that erupts sporadically. According to Phillips, “Absolutely, we were scared, but one of the ways you can tell that Kavachi is erupting is that you can actually hear it—both on the surface and underwater. Anywhere within 10 miles even, you can hear it rumbling in your ears and in your body.”
Another thing that makes Kvachi really difficult is the fact that divers can’t get close to it because fo the temperature of the water and the acidity of the water. “Divers who have gotten close to the outer edge of the volcano have had to back away because of how hot it is or because they were getting mild skin burns from the acid water,” said Phillips. Well, it turns out that might be a good thing. As the team used remote control cameras to study Kavachi, they found something they’d never expect to find: sharks. Lots of them.
According to Phillips, “These large animals are living in what you have to assume is much hotter and much more acidic water, and they’re just hanging out. It makes you question what type of extreme environment these animals are adapted to. What sort of changes have they undergone? Are there only certain animals that can withstand it? It is so black and white when you see a human being not able to get anywhere near where these sharks are able to go.”
Read: Stunning New Discovery: The Ninja Lantern Shark
Now, if you’re a little skeptical about the validity of Sharkcano, check out the full video from Nation Geographic, and see for yourself.