Scientists discover ancient, underwater volcano is still active — and covered in up to a million giant eggs

 

Researchers discovered that an underwater volcano nearly a mile beneath the surface off the Pacific coast of Canada is spouting hot fluid, providing a little-known species of skate with an ideal nursery.

 

Researchers exploring an ancient, underwater volcano off the Pacific coast of Canada have discovered it is still active — and “covered” in thousands of giant eggs.

Before the expedition, the team thought the volcano was extinct and the waters around it frigid. However, they found the underwater mountain — which towers 3,600 feet (1,100 meters) above the seafloor — spouting warm water and encrusted with deep-sea corals. The hot, mineral-rich fluid keeps the surrounding waters toasty, providing ideal conditions for some marine creatures to survive in the deep sea. The researchers were even more surprised to see a Pacific white skate (Bathyraja spinosissima) weaving in and out of the fronds and laying eggs on the summit, nearly a mile (1.5 kilometers) beneath the surface.

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