"Five days after that, we went to the Bat Islands again, and I saw the female manta from the video. There was a remora on her back sitting right on the wound, cleaning it out which would help protect it while it healed. The manta was very happy and was swimming around, full of energy," Thompson says.
"A few minutes later, after she swam away, there was a fourth manta. He had six wraps around him on one side and two on the other. I got some of the wraps, but he started to get really fussy, so we let him go."
By then, Thompson was beginning to suspect that his multiple encounters with tangled manta rays may not be just random chance.
"It felt like the manta in the video may have called over this one to have him get rid of the netting that was there," says Thompson.
"There was the sense that the mantas seemed to be communicating with one another. I think the male from the first day had brought me to the two injured females. I think divers had helped them in the past, and he thought, ‘Hey, here's a diver. Maybe if I bring him over here to the females who are hurting, he could help them.' But I don't know for sure."