Friday, June 6, 2014

Data From Great White Shark Tag Causes Rampant Speculation

Mysterious shark deaths do not necessarily indicate the presence of a massive, unknown marine predator. There are other, more mundane explanations. (Artwork by Thomas Finley)
I have been short on time lately due to the ending of the school year, but an oft-posted news item has caught my attention. Australian scientists recently reported that a tracking tag which they placed on a nine foot great white shark washed ashore with some "weird data". The tag recorded a rapid temperature rise and a sudden dive to depths of 1,900 feet. The device stayed in this state for quite some time, although occasionally fluctuating in depth, leading scientists to allegedly suspect that a predator had eaten the shark. As could surely have been expected due to the effect of mockumentaries from Animal Planet and Discovery Channel, people have started speculating in unfounded and unlikely directions. Rather than some kind of unknown apex predator, the shark in question may have been consumed or partially eaten by an orca, sperm whale, or even a larger shark. Or, as I suspect, the tag may have been brought into greater depths by scavengers. Either way, the speculation which has been rapidly occurring is unnecessary. As much as I'd like this to be evidence for the presence of some sort of macropredatory 'sea serpent', such as a giant abyssal pinniped or relict pliosaur if you want me to follow the current status-quo of rampant speculation, I feel that there are much simpler and more plausible explanations.

Update:
As was expected, it seems that the shark's predator has been identified as a larger shark. So much for all of the premature and wild speculation. Thanks to cryptozoological researcher Dale Drinnon, who has refrained from any sort of irregular speculation as a proper investigator of unverified animals should, for bringing this to my attention.

6 comments:

  1. Clearly, it was Cthulu, lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've won the award for the best comment, Mr. Mayes.

      Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

      Delete
    2. Elephant turd.

      Delete
    3. Turd of 'Trunko', if only it wasn't just a mass of whale blubber.

      Delete
  2. I agree. Although I do not necessarily always agree with the Occam's Razor philosophy, I do believe that, if a simpler and less wild explanation exists, it should be considered more likely than other, less likely competing hypotheses. It is only when no viable mundane explanation can be found that we should start considering exotic explanations.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You know what, just ignore my previous comment. It was obviously aliens getting revenge on sharks because Steven Spielberg used a shark instead of aliens in the movie Jaws.

    ReplyDelete

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