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Discovery of active ancient volcano covered in giant eggs leaves scientists speechless

Discovery of active ancient volcano covered in giant eggs leaves scientists speechless

Researchers discovered that marine life was surprisingly thriving around the archaic mound

Amazingly, researchers have uncovered an ancient underwater volcano that is surprisingly teaming with life.

When scientists first went looking for a seemingly extinct volcano in Canadian seas, they expected to find a dormant mound residing in icy waters.

However, when the team - led by marine biologist Dr Cherisse Du Preez - arrived at the mound off the Pacific coast of the country, they found that the volcano was spouting warm water.

Scientists found that the volcano was teaming with marine life.
YouTube/NEPDEP 2023

The hot mineral-rich fluid that was being blown out of the underwater mountain has allowed marine creatures to survive in the deep sea.

Interestingly, the researchers were even more surprised to find the summit in question was speckled with huge eggs.

They later discovered that the egg-laying perpetrator was a marine beast identified as a Pacific white skate.

Scientists claim that during their two-week expedition, they spotted the creature weaving in and out of the fronds while laying down the goods.

Interestingly, these creatures are related to sharks, rays and lay rectangular eggs, according to the exhibition leader.

Dr Du Preez also said they are more commonly known as ‘mermaid purses’ due to looking like little handbags.

Eggs found on the summit had been laid by Pacific white skates.
YouTube/NEPDEP 2023

Opening up about her team’s findings, the scientist told Live Science: “It's a really special place on top of a really special place.

"The only previous finding of a Pacific white skate nursery was in the Galapágos and I think was on the order of a dozen or two eggs."

She continued that the volcano was covered loads of eggs and that they were around 1.5 feet (0.5 metres) in diameter.

Apparently, it can take up to four years for Pacific white skates to hatch and develop into fully-fledged adults.

“The warm water likely speeds up the gestation period of the eggs, resulting in more successful juveniles,” Dr Du Preez explained.

Scientists will now work to monitor the volcanic mount.
YouTube/NEPDEP 2023

“The shallow summit of the seamount is almost a coral garden and a safe nursery for juveniles to grow before they descend to the deep - it's a win-win.”

Unfortunately, the egg-covered undersea mountain is not protected and is threatened by fishing activity.

However, following the discovery of the volcanic nursery, the research team have vowed to continue their monitoring of the seamount.

A video explaining the team’s findings has been uploaded to YouTube following the conclusion of the United Nations Ocean Decade-endorsed activity.

During the three-minute clip, Dr Du Preez said: “Our expedition was unprecedented.

“The discoveries we made and our personal encounters with deep-sea animals have left us speechless.”

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Cherisse Du Preez -DFO

Topics: Science, Canada, Animals, Weird