Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf

Chomp Chomp! Sharkcano Erupts in Pacific Ocean

Hold onto your butts.
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All this time, the mainstream media (i.e. Syfy original movies) have warned us of the terrors of the Sharknado, a tornado full of bloodthirsty sharks. Turns out they should have been warning us of the Sharkcano, an underwater volcanic eruption that is spewing mutant sharks to the surface and potentially into waiting tornados. Okay, that’s NOT actually what is happening, but you’ll forgive us if waking up to “Sharkcano” trending didn’t scramble our brains for a beat.

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The Sharkcano is better known as the Kavachi volcano, one of the most active underwater volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean. Located in the Solomon Islands, the volcano is about 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of an island called Vangunu. NASA captured images of the underwater eruption on May 14 via the Operational Land Imager 2 onboard the Landsat 9 satellite, which shows a plume of water erupting from the volcano. While the summit of the volcano is 65 feet below the surface, ash and steam could be seen shooting up and into the air above it.

Okay, but what do sharks have to do with any of this? Kavachi is affectionately known as “sharkcano” thanks to a 2015 research expedition by National Geographic scientists who discovered rare species of marine life in the active crater, including silky sharks and hammerheads. These species have adapted to survive in the hot, acidic, cloudy, and sulfurous waters surrounding the volcano. “Populations of gelatinous animals, small fish, and sharks were observed inside the active crater, raising new questions about the ecology of active submarine volcanoes and the extreme environments in which large marine animals can exist,” scientists wrote in the 2016 Oceanography article, “Exploring the ‘Sharkcano’: Biogeochemical observations of the Kavachi submarine volcano (Solomon Islands).”

Still, the internet quickly got swept away by the idea of mutant volcano sharks lurking in the depths of the ocean, and honestly, who can blame them? Isn’t this the plot the Jason Statham action movie The Meg?

(via Green Matters, image: Syfy)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.