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The world of underwater volcanoes


The underwater eruption off the southern coast of the island of El Hierro, in the Canary archipelago produced in 2011. The eruption caused the total destruction of the ecosystem. Two years later, it has been shown that the flora and fauna of the seabed are recovering.

The various studies carried out either with an underwater robot or by diving by scientific teams have made it possible to observe and study the recovery of biological systems after underwater volcanic eruptions. These studies have shown that the eruption allows the stimulation of bacterial activation. In particular, it favours the development of new bacteria.

This is the case for the seabed surrounding El Hierro. The scientists discovered a previously unknown bacterium. They have named it the “hair of Venus” (Thiolava veneris) in reference to Botticelli’s famous painting “The Birth of Venus”. This bacterium surprises scientists.

This recent discovery opens the way to studies on the development of ex-nihilo ecosystems. Life was created as a result of an underwater eruption.

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