- Scientists have discovered sharks that live inside one of the ocean’s most active underwater volcanoes.
- The sharks seem to have adapted well to their exotic home, although researchers cannot determine why they like the area.
- One theory is that predatory fish are plentiful there, making hunting easy.
There are many places that scientists expect to find sharks in the ocean. The inside of the bubbling caverns of an active sea volcano was certainly not one of them. However, when researchers started to study the Kavachi volcano in the Solomon Islands with underwater cameras, that’s exactly what they found.
Sharks of different species have flocked to the volcano despite a recent eruption. Apparently unaffected by the fact that extremely hot liquid rock is melting just below them, the sharks seem completely at home. But why? Since that discovery in 2015, researchers have been trying to answer that very question.
Underwater volcanoes are very active, and eruptions are common. With that in mind, you would think it would be a pretty dangerous place for sharks to gather. Scientists believe that these animals are adapted to this strange environment in large part due to a special feature in their body called the ampullae of Lorenzini.
As 9 News it is a set of pores near a shark’s snout that could allow them to sense changes in the Earth’s magnetic field, which could give an early warning that a volcano is about to erupt and give rise to allowing them to flee to a safe distance.
“It seems that volcanic sharks are used to dealing with eruptions,” said Professor Michael Heithaus, who has been studying sharks for several years. 9 News. “You would think it was dangerous, but studies have shown that they can detect approaching storms and tornadoes, so they can detect when something bad is about to happen and move. out of the way. “
But why exactly were the sharks sucked into volcanoes in the first place? It is a question that remains unanswered, although some solid theories have been put forward.
“Harsh environments are something they can clearly handle; whether it is volcano or surviving underwater thousands of meters, ”explained Professor Heithaus. “I don’t really know why they were there yet. It could be something to do with reproduction, or who knows what else is living in it. Maybe they’re just sniffing the meal. ”
The idea that sharks would choose this area as a hunting ground makes a little bit of sense as fishermen will probably avoid active volcanoes, allowing predatory fish to breed nearby and feed the sharks. . Or maybe they just like to live in the sauna.