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Water temperatures so low that sharks freeze to death!

The severe cold wave and Arctic winter that has hit some parts of the USA is not only affecting humans. As it turns out, the drop in temperatures in the waters off the east coast of the US has caused startled sharks to freeze to death! The Cape Code Times reports that in the Wellfleet
Published: January 10, 2018 - 10:22
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 16:19
Water temperatures so low that sharks freeze to death!

The severe cold wave and Arctic winter that has hit some parts of the USA is not only affecting humans. As it turns out, the drop in temperatures in the waters off the east coast of the US has caused startled sharks to freeze to death!

The Cape Code Times reports that in the Wellfleet area, four thresher sharks have already been found dead after freezing. Researchers from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy are trying to monitor the situation, but high tides and bad weather are making it difficult.

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Alopias is most recognisable by its long, distinctive tail, which is shaped like a scythe and, as researchers suspect, serves to stun its prey. Unfortunately, this species is not accustomed to such low temperatures as the region has experienced this winter.

Scientists say it cannot generate enough heat to preserve the function of key organs, temperatures dropping below 7ºC. Meanwhile, in the area where the frozen sharks were found, the temperature had been extremely cold for about a week, at just 5ºC.

Typically, these sharks migrate south for the winter into the coastal waters of North and South Carolina. Based on data from the chips with which the sharks were tagged, many of them did so this winter as well. It is presumed that the frozen specimens may have got lost or were somehow confused by something and did not manage to escape the cold wave.

Source: people.com Photo: wikipedia.org CC 3.0

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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