The little-known Pacific sleeper shark can be found in the submarine volcano Kavachi about 20 miles off the coast of the Solomon Islands.
Scientists are now sending in robots to study the peculiar beasts who manage to survive in the hostile volcanic environment.
National Geographic explorer and ocean engineer Brennan Phillips said: “It is an extreme and very dangerous environment. Human beings cannot go in there.
The idea of there being large animals like sharks hanging out and living around this volcano conflicts with what we know about Kavachi
National Geographic explorer and ocean engineer Brennan Phillips
“Each day we did these drop cam deployments, it was like unwrapping a new present.
“You never know what you are gong to find especially when working deep underwater. The deeper you go, the stranger it gets.
“As far as I know at this point it is only the third time it has been captured on video and it is certainly the best video ever of one.
“The idea of there being large animals like sharks hanging out and living around this volcano conflicts with what we know about Kavachi.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC/ GETTY STOCK IMAGE
Robots will be sent to investigate sharks living in an underwater volcano
The Pacific sleeper shark can be found in the submarine volcano Kavachi
“It is hostile when it is calm. The water is hot, it is acidic, it is hostile enough. So to see large animals like this that are living it is very exciting and exploring the deep sea is like that.”
Mr Phillips, alongside Alistair Grinham of University of Queensland and Matthew Dunbabin of Queensland University of Technology and Director of GFB Robotics, hopes to send robots into Kavachi to collect data to help them understand how marine life survives.
Mr Phillips said: “Our goal is to send instrumentation there to get meaningful data, but sometimes it’s really fun to just blow stuff up.
Shark experts hope to tag one of the sleeper sharks
Scientists say the shark survives in a "hostile environment"
“There are a number of reasons why there shouldn't be anything living in there except maybe bacteria. Number one it's very hot and acidic, and we measured that.
“Number two, it's very turbid, so the water is very cloudy. None of these things are good for fish. Whether they're good for sharks, that's up for debate.
“Yet we saw sharks that in between eruptions are darting in and out between the clouds of the plume. So that's a lingering question mark.”
Shark experts hope to tag one of the sleeper sharks to discover even more about the mysterious underwater creatures.
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Mr Dunbabin said: “The smaller robots have acoustic depth sounders for gathering bathymetry of the vent region, surface water temperature sensors, accelerometers, and cameras.
“The larger robots carry greenhouse gas monitoring sensors and measure direct gas release to the atmosphere as well as physical air samples. We also have simple drifting robots that are capable of collecting water samples.”
Mr Phillips said: “We're in the midst of a robotic renaissance right now. The door is open for many people to make cheap robots, whether they fly, swim, or drive.
“We're seeing great video and data from things that scientists haven't been able to do before. It's really exciting to be part of that.”