Scientists Say Underwater Volcano Eruption Was The ‘Largest Ever Recorded’

FRENCH POLYNESIA, PACIFIC OCEAN - JANUARY 2021: Sicklefin lemon shark (Negaprion acutidens) evolves over a coral reef on January 21, 2021 in Moorea, French Polynesia, Pacific Ocean. Also called sharptooth lemon shark, the sicklefin lemon shark has a robust, stocky body and a short, broad head. This species favors still, murky waters and is most common in bays, estuaries, and lagoons, and over sandy flats and outer reefs. (Photo by Alexis Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

At a glance

  • “The eruption reached record heights, being the first we’ve ever seen to break through into the mesosphere,” said New Zealand National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) marine geologist Kevin Mackay.
  • “It was like a shotgun blast directly into the sky,” he added.
  • The eruption in the South Pacific Ocean displaced 10 cubic kilometers of seafloor, which is equal to 2.6 million Olympic sized swimming pools, according to the NIWA.

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