Read this and you’ll ask – Why?
The various stay-at-home orders enacted around the country as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have created anger, protests and, in some cases, extremely bad behavior. People are, naturally, frustrated. They want to go back to work (assuming there’s a job to go back to), they want to shop, they want to eat out at restaurants, they want to get their hair styled, they want to socially gather. The pent-up demand is palpable. Despite the need to balance health, safety and the economy, opening too early, an idea fueled by President Trump and many of his Republican governor allies, risks a resurgence of the virus and even more frustration, not to mention sickness and death.
As I read about all the resentment and bitterness the stay-at home orders have engendered, there’s one demand to open that seems to stand head and shoulders above all others – going to the beach!
But after reading a story in the Palm Beach Post, my only response to these frustrated beach goers is, WHY?
Hammerheads slink close to Palm Beach County shore, and there’s a reason for that
(Palm Beach Post – May 14, 2020) A recent Florida Atlantic University study shows why hammerheads swim so close to us. It isn’t us they’re after, it’s blacktip sharks, which head nearshore to avoid being prey to the much larger hammerhead.
The furtive shadows of blacktip sharks are well known along Palm Beach County’s shoreline during their annual migration, but a new study found a novel reason why they hug the shallows so closely.
Wading-deep water just off the sandy coast provides refuge for blacktips from the less agile hammerhead shark — a predator that can’t maneuver as well nearshore, according to a Florida Atlantic University study published last month in Journal Fish Biology.
The hammerhead sharks in the videos were at least twice the size of the blacktip sharks making them approximately 12 feet long.
Tyler Bowling, manager of the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History, noted last year that blacktip sharks also hunt in shallow water for bait fish, which causes them to be in the same water as bathers.
“Most of the bites we see along the southeast U.S. are from these animals and are usually minor nibbles comparatively speaking,” Bowling said last year.
“Minor nibbles, comparatively speaking?” Comparative to what – a “nibble” from a Teacup Yorkie; a Pit Bull?
Oh and while we’re talking about the joys of beach going, did I mention sunbathing-caused skin cancer?
I don’t know about you, but keeping beaches closed is starting to sound pretty darn good.