An incredible underwater phenomenon caught on tape!

An underwater volcano bursting with glowing lava bubbles, the deepest active submarine eruption seen to date, is shedding light on how volcanism can impact deep-sea life and reshape the face of the planet.

Screen cap from the video of an actual volcano eruption underwater

Scientists witnessed the eruption of the deepest underwater volcano and caught the entire event on film for the first time -- complete with molten lava and sulfur smoke clouds.

They are some of the most violent events on the planet, throwing out millions of tonnes of gas, ash and molten rock with each eruption.

Yet the majority of the world’s volcanoes are found deep underwater where immense water pressure does weird things to the lava that bubbles out of them.

Now scientists have finally been able to record one of these eruptions as it happens to discover the sound it makes - and they are surprisingly quiet for such a violent event.

However, the research could allow scientists to monitor undersea volcanoes far more effectively than they have before.

Submarine eruptions account for about three-quarters of all of Earth's volcanism, but the overlying ocean and the sheer vastness of the seafloor makes detecting and observing them difficult. The only active submarine eruptions that scientists had seen and analyzed until now were at the volcano NW Rota-1, near the island of Guam in the western Pacific.

Now researchers have witnessed the deepest active submarine eruption yet. The volcano in question, West Mata, lies near the islands of Fiji in the southwestern Pacific in the Lau Basin. Here, the rate of subduction, the process in which one massive tectonic plate dives under another, typically forming chains of volcanoes, is the highest on Earth, and the region hosts ample signs of recent submarine volcanism.

Scientists discovered West Mata in 2008 during a survey of the northeast Lau Basin. Explosive eruptions were seen in the following year there using a remotely operated underwater vehicle — the first eruption was called Hades, the second Prometheus, both occurring at a depth of approximately 3,900 feet (1,200 meters).

The nearly continuous eruptions generated spectacular incandescent gas-filled bubbles of lava up to 3 feet (1 m) wide. Gas flowing through the glowing lava could sometimes look flame-like in appearance, scientists said.

"It was absolutely stunning and exciting, something we'd never seen on the seafloor before," researcher Joseph Resing, an oceanographer at the University of Washington in Seattle, told OurAmazingPlanet. "People were just ecstatic."

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An incredible underwater phenomenon caught on tape! An incredible underwater phenomenon caught on tape! Reviewed by TrendSpot on Monday, July 06, 2015 Rating: 5

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