Eye in the Sea Mystery

Mystery Question from scientist Dr. Erika Raymond, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
On the morning of Tuesday, July 21, the Ocean Research & Conservation Association’s Eye in the Sea (EITS) was placed at a depth of 2,000 feet, with a bait box to attract marine life, and its cameras set to record for one minute, every five minutes. For this deployment, the EITS would remain in place for several days capturing the marine life going about their everyday business. That afternoon, the Johnson Sea Link descended again with other scientists and they noticed that the EITS was on its side and had been dragged for about 20 meters. Nearby, they spotted something and picked it up. It was a tangled mess of fishing line with a large rusty hook and an illuminating lure – still flashing. Also swimming suspiciously nearby was a six-gill shark, a slow-moving very large, deep-sea shark that ambles along the ocean floor. The pilot righted the EITS and they went back to the business at hand.

Project scientists were puzzled by the mystery of what caused the EITS to be knocked down and dragged away and what did this hook and line have to do with it? Did a fisherman catch the EITS on its hook? Did that six-gill knock it down trying to get to the EITS bait box? Were the predatory pack of Cuban dogfish to blame?

What do you think happened? Submit your guess through our Ask an Explorer link. Your responses will be published on the Ocean Explorer website.  The amazing footage that the EITS captured that solved the mystery will be revealed Thursday July 30.

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