‘Shark spa’ in Solomons amazes scientists

… the discovery highlights the need for more research in the area before projects like seabed mining are allowed to go ahead…

hammerhead shark

Radio New Zealand

Marine scientists are dumbfounded by the discovery of sharks swimming inside an active underwater volcano in Solomon Islands.

Dozens of hammerhead and silky sharks were filmed swimming around in extremely hot, acidic water inside the caldera of the Kavachi volcano in a lagoon in the country’s west.

The expedition leader, Brennan Phillips, says the scientists were expecting to find very little life in the harsh water conditions.

“But we saw all the big sharks that were in there. So that was a total surprise and it just kept coming. You know, there’s dozens of them and they are quite large.

“And there’s also smaller fish that are in there. There’s this whole little ecosystem there is like a whole series of trophic levels that seem to be co-existing when it’s not erupting.”

Brennan Phillips says the discovery highlights the need for more research in the area before projects like seabed mining are allowed to go ahead.

The expedition was supported by the National Geographic Society/Waitt Grants Programme.

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Filed under Environmental impact, Pacific region, Solomon Islands

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