The National Geographic Society/Waitt Grants Program’s Brennan Phillips and his expedition team captured film from inside Kavachi, an active volcano off the coast of New Guinea, and what they found was rather shocking.
The volcano located in the Solomon Islands of the South Pacific erupted as recently as January of 2014. Of course, the team didn’t expect to find any oceanic life here, due to the warmer acidic waters of the volcano, and the fact that it could erupt again at any time.
Ocean engineer Brennan Phillips explains in the video below, “When it’s erupting, there’s no way anything could live in there. That’s what makes discovering these animals down inside the volcano so perplexing. They’re living in a place where they could ‘die at any moment,’ so how do they survive?”
The scientists found the volcano filled with rays, jellyfish and sharks – they believe that the creatures have mutated in order to survive in the much hotter and acidic environment than other members of their species, but the discovery raises further questions about what other changes they’ve undergone while adapting to such a drastically different environment.