Mutant sharks found hiding out inside deadly underwater volcano which could erupt at any minute

Shocked marine experts discovered hammerheads and rays lurking in the acidic depths of the South Pacific.

Experts from National Geographic led the expedition to Kavachi, an active volcano off the coast of New Guinea.

The spout last erupted in 2014, so the dive team were not expected to find any signs of life in its murky waters.

However, when they sent a robot sub down to explore the volcano's landscape they were quickly proved wrong.

Ocean engineer Brennan Phillips told National Geographic: “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?”

And it's not just the heat and the acidity that should make the conditions unihabitable inside what has become known as the Shark-ano.

"It's very turbid, so the water is very cloudy. None of these things are good for fish," said Phillips.

Scientists believe the sharks must have mutated to survive in the hot and acidic environment.

And the discovery raises further questions about what other changes they’ve undergone.

Phillips asks: “Do they leave? Do they have some sort of sign that it’s about to erupt? Do they blow up sky-high in little bits?”

Divers found three species: the scalloped hammerhead shark, the silky shark and the six-gill stingray.

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