Volcano Sharks –“Little is Known About This Phenomenon”

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Across the world, sharks congregate around volcanoes and volcanic islands. From active, dormant to extinct, volcanoes hold a strong attraction for sharks of all kinds, but little is known about this phenomenon.


A team from Florida International University went in search of answers to uncover why volcanoes become shark hotspots as researchers dive into the world of sharks and volcanoes this week during Discovery Channel’s Shark Week led by Mike Heithaus, marine scientist who stars in Devil Sharks, which airs at 10 p.m., Wednesday, July 26, on Discovery. Heithaus has spent his entire career studying marine predators, specializing in the ecological importance of sharks and other large marine species including whales, dolphins and sea turtles.

 

 

In the National Geographic video above, ocean engineer Brennan Phillips led a team to the remote  submarine volcano Kavachi about 20 miles off the coast of the Solomon Islands in search of hydrothermal activity. They found plenty of activity—including sharks in a submarine volcano. The main peak of the volcano, called Kavachi, was not erupting during their expedition, so they were able to drop instruments, including a deep-sea camera, into the crater. The footage revealed hammerheads and the little-known Pacific sleeper shark living inside, seemingly unaffected by the hostile temperatures and acidity.

Scientists sent robots to study the peculiar beasts who manage to survive in the hostile volcanic environment. Phillips said: “It is an extreme and very dangerous environment. Human beings cannot go in there. Each day we did these drop cam deployments, it was like unwrapping a new present. “There are a number of reasons why there shouldn't be anything living in there except maybe bacteria. Number one it's very hot and acidic, and we measured that.

“Number two, it's very turbid, so the water is very cloudy. None of these things are good for fish. Whether they're good for sharks, that's up for debate. Yet we saw sharks that in between eruptions are darting in and out between the clouds of the plume. So that's a lingering question mark.”

“You never know what you are gong to find especially when working deep underwater. The deeper you go, the stranger it gets.The idea of there being large animals like sharks hanging out and living around this volcano conflicts with what we know about Kavachi.

The Daily Galaxy via FIU https://news.fiu.edu/2017/07/volcano-sharks-are-a-thing/113606

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