NASA captures ‘Sharkcano’ eruption where mutated sharks swim near an underwater volcano


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You’ve probably heard of Sharknado, but have you heard of a Sharkcano? Kavachi Volcano in the Solomon Islands is an underwater volcano that was nicknamed a sharkcano after a 2015 expedition discovered sharks living there. Now, NASA has shared new satellite images of sharkcano’s latest eruption, which happened this month.

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NASA just shared new images of a “sharkcano” eruption

sharkcano eruption in satellite image

sharkcano eruption in satellite image

NASA’s Earth Observatory constantly observes our planet, capturing images of important discoveries and events. One of the latest captures gives us a good view of the Solomon Islands sharkcano as it erupted earlier this month.

The volcano is located in the Solomon Islands of the Pacific Ocean. The new images shared by NASA were captured using the Earth Observatory’s Operational Land Imager 2. The imager is located on the Landsat 9 satellite and was designed to capture high resolution photos of our planet.

In the images, a large plume of discolored water can be seen created by the eruption of the sharkcano. The NASA Earth Observatory reports that the volcano erupts almost continuously. Thus, residents of nearby islands say they often see visible steam and ash near the location of the volcano. Sometimes Kavachi even created ephemeral islands due to his eruptions.

What’s in a name?

Although it is one of the most active underwater volcanoes, it is not its activity that has made Kavachi so interesting. Instead, it is the two species of sharks that inhabit the volcano, hence its name. The sharks, the researchers found, nearly mutated, allowing them to adapt to the harsh conditions that surround Kavachi.

Unlike the fictional sharknado from the SyFy Channel movies, the sharkcano’s eruptions don’t make the sharks fly. Instead, researchers named it so because of the sharks that inhabit it. Yet learning that sharks live inside an active underwater volcano is just as exciting.

Scientists estimate that the summit of the sharkcano itself is 20 meters (65 feet) below sea level. The base of the volcano connects to the area’s seabed, which is 1.2 kilometers (0 .75 miles) deep. Scientists have been studying sharks in the volcano since observing them in 2015.

In addition to sharks, the sharkcano also harbors microbial communities that thrive on the sulfur it creates. You can view satellite images of sharkcano’s latest eruption above for a closer look at Kavachi’s activity.

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