Welcome to Kavachi, a volcano in the Solomon Islands’ Southwest Pacific Ocean. The first known eruption happened in 1939, and the most recent occurred in January of 2014. According to National Geographic, in addition to releasing the Earth’s hot guts, Kavachi also acts as a home for aquatic species.
“There’s no way anything could live in there when it’s exploding,” ocean engineer Brennan Phillips explains in the video below. That’s why discovering these species deep within the volcano is so baffling. They’re in a location where they may “pass away at any time,” so how can they keep going? These are the questions that come to mind after seeing this breathtaking footage.
As the camera descends into the volcanic plume, the color of the water changes considerably.
The first animal discovered was a sixgill stingray.
The camera detected three species during its hour-long trek within the underwater volcano: the scalloped hammerhead shark, the silky shark, and the sixgill stingray.
Phillips wonders in the video on realizing that these creatures live in an active volcano: “Do they depart? Is there any indication that it’s about to erupt? Do they erupt in a series of little explosions that send them soaring into the sky?” The researchers arrived with one question and left with a slew of them. That, according to Phillips, is what makes this effort so special.