6 Insane Animals That Live in Volcanos

Most sharks live in the ocean, but did you know that some manage to live inside a volcano? How is this possible?

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What's It Like Inside a Volcano?

Underwater volcanos are common--up to 80 percent of them erupt on the ocean's floor. Because of their high temperature and acidity, one wouldn't expect to find life happening around them, but marine biologists continue to find all sorts of organisms calling eruption sites home. The high amount of minerals and warmth given off actually makes them a fertile breeding ground for life. They're often teeming with bacteria, and where there's bacteria, there's also usually more complex life. For example, shrimp were spotted living nearby the Pacific flood West Mata volcano. In a 2012 survey of the volcanically active Kermadec Ridge, scientists found rainbow-colored Polychaete worms, a bristle work with protruding jaws. Scientists often discover new species in deep undersea exploration, like the Crown Jellyfish, which was first spotted 5,000 feet (1500 M) underwater. In 2009, Oregon State University researchers found shrimp, crab, limpets and barnacles living around a highly active volcano near Guam.

Pacific Sleeper sharks are found in the North Pacific from Japan to Mexico. They're considered non-aggressive and live really deep, so they're often difficult to see. In July a team from National Geographic was taking video of the Kavachi volcano and found two species of shark hanging out inside the volcano's caldera. This captured the researchers attention because this area is considered one of the most active volcanos in the Southwest Pacific, and these sluggish sharks were living just 12 miles from it. The water should be way too hot and acidic for the sharks to handle, and their discovery raises more questions than answers. If confirmed, they would be the furthest south they'd ever been seen. Obviously, as we're fond of saying on DNews, more research is needed.

Are volcano-dwelling sharks cooler than sharks living in a tornado? Do you have any questions about sharks, volcanos, or sharknados? Let us know in the comments--as always, we'd love to hear from you.

Learn More:

Life thrives at active underwater volcano (Live Science)
"The active undersea volcano could allow scientists to understand how life on Earth may have originated in such underwater environments. Geologists previously discovered 1.43 billion-year-old fossils of deep-sea microbes near ancient vents on the ocean floor."

Scientists find sharks living inside underwater volcano (Huffington Post)
"'The idea of there being large animals, like sharks, hanging out and living inside the caldera of this volcano conflicts with what we know about Kavachi, which is that it erupts.'"