**This blog entry orginally appeared on the website oceanspaces.org.**/p>
While surveying a series of planned transect lines within the Reading Rock SMR off the coast of Northern California this last October, a female bluntnose sixgill shark (Hexanchus griseus) suddenly appeared right in front of our ROV Beagle. The shark’s arrival startled everyone watching the live video feed and the excitement that followed could be felt all over the boat.
Possibly out of her own curiosity, the shark had voluntarily approached the ROV and proceeded to swim—quite sluggishly—in front of the ROV for the next four minutes. Then, as quickly as she had entered our view, she was gone again. This rare encounter allowed us to capture incredible still photos and HD video footage of a large shark in its natural habitat.
That day, we all shared feelings of excitement and good fortune to have witnessed such a rare encounter. This excitement was especially felt by MARE team member, Kelsey Martin-Harbick, whose only statement that morning as we left the dock was, “today I want to see a shark”. We all hope next time she says, “I want to see sunken treasure”…
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