WTF Fun Fact 12672 – Beware the “Sharkcano”

Your mother probably warned you not to swim around acidic shark-infested volcanoes, but in case she didn’t, we’re telling you now not to try it!

Only once have scientists been able to explore the Kavachi volcano in the Solomon Islands. It’s a submarine (aka underwater) volcano and it actually erupts almost constantly. But in 2015, it took a break, giving researchers the chance to check it out.

And boy did they find some stuff! It’s no surprise that they found high levels of sulfur (because it is a volcano, after all), but they were surprised to see that despite extremely acidic conditions, some creatures have managed to thrive in the craters.

There are microbial species that are common in sulfuric environments. There are also “gelatinous animals and small fish.” Oh, and a whole bunch of angry sharks.

According to IFL Science, oceanographic researchers said this is “raising new questions about the ecology of active submarine volcanoes and the extreme environments in which large marine animals can exist.”

And while that’s really cool, we’re more interested in the phenomenon they dubbed “sharkcano.” The researchers wrote: “Two species of shark, the scalloped hammerhead Sphyrna lewini and the silky shark Carcharhinus falciformis, approached the baited camera multiple times in an aggressive pattern; in some cases, sharks appeared to be swimming from greater depths inside the crater.”

Now, before you picture thousands of sharks spewing out from the depths of the ocean floor (which is the first thing we pictured), it’s definitely not going to be that wild if this volcano has a major eruption. It will, however, be a really bad time to go swimming in that area.

NASA images showed a plume developing in late May, so we may be in for a sharkcano eruption sometime soon and we’ll be able to see precisely what that entails. –  WTF fun fact

If you want to learn more:

Source: “NASA Warns Acidic “Sharkcano” Is Starting To Erupt” — IFL Science

WTF Fun Fact 12406 – Turtle Senses Volcanic Eruption

Animals seem to know when something’s up with Mother Nature. Certain out-of-character animals behaviors after precede storms, earthquakes, and more. Now, there’s evidence that Milly the Sea Turtle knew that the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano was about to erupt.

She was released by scientists in Australia wearing a tracker, and for 47 days she swam straight for the tiny island of Tonga. But the day before the earthquake, something made her do a sharp turn directly away from the island…like she knew it wasn’t a safe place.

While it’s just speculation, for now, Tilly also diverted her journey back to Australia right before a small earthquake occurred near the Great Barrier Reef. Again, she seemed to send something was about to go wrong in that direction.

Research has been done on the ability of whales, dolphins, and even goats to sense seismic activity, but this was the first time the behavior was observed in sea turtles.

Of course, turtles have no real way of explaining their behavior to humans, so we won’t be using Tilly as an earthquake or volcano predictor any time soon. But it is interesting to have more evidence that animals have some sort of sixth sense when it comes to potentially dangerous natural events. – WTF Fun Facts

Source: Tilly The Sea Turtle Knew About Tonga Eruption Before It Happened — IFL Science

WTF Fun Fact – Hotel Montana Magica

WTF Fun Fact - Hotel Montana Magica

Hotel La Montaña Mágica is a unique hotel built to mimic a volcano and even erupts water. It sits deep within the depths of the private Huilo-Huilo biological reserve in Chile. WTF Fun Facts