The frigid weather is the US is claiming several lives, and not of humans alone. The recent victims of the biting cold are the sharks near Cape Cod Bay. These marine predators are being frozen to death in Northern US and their lifeless bodies are emerging on beaches as a sad testimony of the unforgiving winter.
A passerby at Massachusetts' Cape Cod Bay, James Mullin, was shocked by the sight of a huge corpse of a shark when he was walking there last Wednesday. Snapping some pictures, he sent them to the Center of Coastal Studies in Provincetown, reports Cape Cod Times.
When officials came to investigate the incident, they found another frozen shark washed up on the shore. Both were male thresher sharks of almost the same size. Experts believe that they had been stranded due to the weather and died of 'cold shock'. A third frozen shark was discovered on Saturday, which was too frozen to be examined.
Atlantic White Shark Conservancy said on Facebook that morphometric data, tissues and organs have been collected from the animals to be dissected once they thaw out. The pictures of the dead sharks have been horrifying people on social media, especially people in the northern states of the US who are experiencing frigid temperatures.
Recently, reports of shark corpses turning up at South African beaches with missing livers shocked the world. It has turned out that killer orca whales are behind it. Now, even the freezing weather is playing spoilsport as sharks are being killed for reasons beyond the usual marine pollution, hunting and fishing activities.
The frozen sharks have all been found in the US, which has been under the grip of an unusually cold weather this winter. It has made even the Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the famous Niagara Falls to freeze completely. Hibbing, Minnesota has recorded the lowest temperature since 1964 and experts have predicted the frigid spell to continue for at least a few more days.
Places like New England, northern Pennsylvania and New York are under chill warnings and forecasters have warned of hypothermia and fatal frost-bite from an outside exposure of as little as 30 minutes.
US residents are barely able to face the harsh winter this time, leave alone unprotected marine animals meeting their tragic end. Let us hope Mary Lee, the recently gone-missing famous American great white shark, does not meet the same fate.