A team of scientists who recently dropped a camera into an underwater volcano off the Solomon Islands made an unanticipated discovery when they reviewed the footage.
“You never know what you’re going to find. Especially when you are working deep underwater. The deeper you go, the stranger it gets,” ocean engineer Brennan Phillips said in a statement.
So what exactly did the team discovery? Sharks. Multiple sharks living inside the underwater volcano, seemingly not affected by the hostile conditions which include high temperatures and acidity.
“No one has ever looked in the deep sea there, period. No one’s been out to anywhere in the Solomon Islands and gone deeper than a few hundred meters or deeper than a scuba diver has gone, really. So we were very excited. We thought there was a lot of potential,” Philips said.
When the team sat down to review the footage, they were initially unsure by what they were seeing.
“What was that? Shadow of something. There is something off!” a member of the team said before the room erupted in applause when they recognized it was a shark.
The team said in a statement that they felt dropping a submarine inside the volcano was too risky, so they opted to use a camera instead.
Phillips said that the discovery of sharks inside the volcano opens more questions.
“One of the videos from inside the main caldera of Kavachi shows some jellyfish hanging out. They seem to be there naturally. And then we see some snappers and some small fish … and then sharks start coming after the camera. Sharks are cool in their own right—all of them are—but a hammerhead is particularly neat looking. And they’re in there, in numbers, inside the volcano! Now I want to spend years trying to study that and why that is the case,” he said.