Whale Shark and Other Sea Creatures That Have Washed Up on Shore [Slideshow]

on February 08 2012 12:02 PM
  • whale shark
    Two cranes helped to life the dead whale shark from the Karachi fish harbour on February 7, 2012. The sea creature sold for 1.7 million PKR ($18,758). reuters
  • Dead Piranhas
    Piranhas lie dead on the edge of Dos Reis Lake in 2009. The lake forms part of the Amazon River. Water levels dropped in 2009, killing the piranhas and other water creatures. Reuters
  • Sperm Whale
    This 44 foot sperm whale washed up alive in northern England. Rescuers at the Redcar beach were unable to save the whale in late May 2011. Reuters
  • Puffer Fish
    A puffer fish washed up dead on the shore of Naic, Cavite in August 2010. It was suspected by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources that the increase in sea water temperature caused the fish to swim closer to the surface for oxygen. Reuters
  • Alligator
    A drying lake in part of the Amazon river system took the life of this alligator in 2009. Reuters
  • sea lion
    A dead sea lion washed up on the shore of a Cobquecura town in February 2008. The Chilean government declared their habitat a natural sanctuary in the nineties, but continuous human presence are dwindling the sea lion numbers. reuters
  • Blob of flesh
    In the summer of 2003 a giant blob of flesh was found on a Pacific beach. While many thought it was a giant octopus, Chilean scientists declared it to be the carcass of a sperm whale. reuters
  • Mako Shark
    In 2008 a Mako shark washed up dead on the shores of Queenscliff beach in Sydney. The Mako shark is usually found in open oceans. Reuters
  • Montauk Monster
    In 2008 Montauk, New York had a mysterious hairless carcass wash up on the beach. According to Fox News, some believed it to be an escaped mutant from a government lab, an alien, or possibly just a raccoon or a dog. Twitter
  • squid
    Thousands of dead jumbo flying squid washed up on the beaches of Santa Maria Island in 2003. Reuters
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A Pakistani fisherman caught a giant whale shark in the open sea, and brough it to the Karachi Fish Harbour. How giant was this whale shark? ABC reports that the deep sea creature is 40-50 feet long, and six feet wide.

Mehmood Khan, owner of Charai Fishery, said that they had spotted the whale shark unconscious 10 days ago. At that time it had been around 93 miles away from the fishery. The whale shark is usually found in deep warm oceans, said ABC. The creature, which can live to be around 70-years-old, mainly feeds on plankton, microscopic plants and occasionally small fish, said the news source.

It took two cranes and several hours to lift the whale shark out the water. The deep sea creature sold for 1.7 million rupees ($18,750).

While this whale shark may be huge and rarely seen, it joins many other sea creatures that have unfortunately been washed up on the beaches. Some of the deaths of these animals may be a mystery, but many can be related back to drought and humans.

A study by Baylor University showed that drought conditions not only affect water levels, but also water quality. Chemicals, like ammonia, can be more toxic during drought conditions. The study found that when pH levels shift, ammonia in the water can become toxic and affect the fish.

According from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 80 percent of pollution to marine life comes from the land. Nonpoint source pollution is the largest cause, which includes septic tanks, cars, trucks, and boats. Farms, ranches, and forest area also contribute to the nonpoint pollution. Oil pollution is also a large killer of sea life. Rough seas spread the oil through the marine environment, as well as to the fish or birds that eat an oil-poisoned animal.

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