Go Away!

by Forest Rohwer, head researcher on the Microbe team

We’ve been setting out cameras to monitor the reef at night. This morning we went to get the cameras set out last night on the reef here at Jarvis Island. Two of us dropped into the water and were immediately surrounded by a school of 53 sharks. Their backs were hunched as they made rapid runs back and forth. They were saying “Go away!” I got right back out of the water—the first time ever because of sharks.

Two’s company, twenty-two’s a crowd. Sharks at Jarvis Island. Photograph by Katie Barott.

We then took the boat much closer to the reef, dropped immediately down to the bottom, and then stayed low while we retrieved all of the camaras. About 20-30 sharks followed us the whole time.