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9.23.19
Sealab Prequel

An Underwater Research Station Has Vanished Without a Trace

September 6th 19__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Hard Science
GEOMAR

Whodunnit

An underwater research station off the coast of Germany has vanished without a trace, leaving scientists completely baffled.

Scientists monitoring the Boknis Eck Observatory noticed that their data feeds suddenly went blank in late August. When divers went out to check on the equipment, Gizmodo reports that they found that the entire observatory was missing. The researchers behind the observatory, the GROMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel, put out a statement on Tuesday calling for any tips on its whereabouts from the public — until it’s returned, scientists will have to operate without what they called “downright priceless” data on environmental conditions in the area.

Always A Bigger Fish

GEOMAR suggested that a massive storm or marine animal may have ripped the equipment — weighing hundreds of pounds — from its anchors. All that’s left at the scene is the shredded fiber optic cable that transmitted the observatory’s data to scientists working on solid ground.

But the culprits also could have been people, Gizmodo suggests. Any possible explanations are utterly speculative at this point, but it’s possible that looters or even some sort of nefarious criminals or state actors dove down to dismantle and make off with the observatory’s instrumentation.

But without any definitive evidence on what happened — and so far there isn’t any — the observatory’s disappearance is all one big mystery.

READ MORE: Large Underwater Observatory Disappears Without a Trace, Baffling Scientists [Gizmodo]

More on underwater science: A New Deep-Sea Robot Can Shape-Shift Into an Autonomous Submarine