Tuesday, April 26, 2016

MASS FISH DIE-OFFS: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - Dead Humpback Whale Washes Up On Beach In Newport, Rhode Island; Dead Whale Found Grounded In Gardiner's Bay, New York; And Officials Probing Fishkill On Beach In Barbados?! [VIDEO]

Dead humpback whale in Rhode Island.

April 26, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

Dead humpback whale washes up on beach in Newport, Rhode Island

Nestled against the rocks at the end of Hazard's Beach in Newport is what appears to be a dead humpback whale.

Andi Flax is one of dozens who came out to see it. "A friend posted some pictures on Facebook and it's not something you see everyday so we thought we'd come pay our respects."

In fact, it's been drawing Rhode Islanders from all over the state, like Jillian Borgia.

"We saw it on Facebook...we drove from Bristol to come down and see the whale!"

Some locals say the whale's been here since Sunday, but the question now is what's going to happen to it next?

"My question is how did it get there and what do you do with it? Study it, burn it, leave it there?"


WATCH: Dead whale washes ashore in Rhode Island.




We haven't heard back from Mystic Aquarium, who's handling the whale carcass, but typically they are buried or pulled back out to sea.

Until then, spectators are taking advantage of the opportunity to see the sea creature up close and personal - if they can stand the smell.

"It's a lot bigger than I thought it was gonna be...but it doesn't smell as bad...it's my snapchat story!"



Dead whale found grounded in Gardiner's Bay, New York

A drone photograph captured the sight of the dead whale grounded in Gardiner's Bay on Monday afternoon.Dell Cullum

A dead whale has run aground in Gardiner's Bay, leaving East Hampton Town officials trying to figure out what to do about it.

A bayman reported what appeared to be the carcass of a small humpback whale in the water on Sunday morning, according to Ed Michels, the chief harbormaster. Coast Guard Station Montauk searched for it but did not locate the 20-foot whale until Sunday evening, Mr. Michels said. As of Monday afternoon, the carcass had become stuck on the bay bottom and was belly up in shallow water about 500 feet from the shore between the Devon Yacht Club in Amagansett and Promised Land, he said.

Mr. Michels said he did not know any specifics about the type of whale or how long it had been dead. Right now, his main concern is what to do about it, he said, adding that he has given Supervisor Larry Cantwell two options: Leave it alone and let Mother Nature run its course, or try to tow it to shore and dispose of it, a process that comes with a hefty price tag. "If we go touch it, it's going to cost thousands."

Mr. Michels has been in touch with the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, and the organization has indicated to him that it would like to perform a necropsy, if it can get hold of the whale. However, the foundation would only take pieces of the carcass; the rest of the whale would have to be disposed of. Those costs, along with the cost of bringing in the equipment to move the whale, would add up fast, he said.

Mr. Michels is not sure the carcass is in good enough shape to be hauled to the shore. "Can it handle a tail rope? That's the only way to tow it," he said.

The supervisor was briefed on the situation Monday afternoon and has asked that the Riverhead Foundation go out on a Marine Patrol boat on Tuesday to evaluate the carcass's condition and if moving it is a viable option. "There are any number of considerations here," Mr. Cantwell said, among them where it could be brought to shore. Once some of those answers are available, then he will make a decision.

Even if the supervisor signs off on spending the money, the operation to move it would not begin before Tuesday at the earliest, and that's if the weather cooperates, he said. The situation could also change by then; the carcass could float away or float to shore, and at that time the town's hand would be forced.

"I think we have an obligation not to have a health hazard on the beach," Mr. Michels said.



Officials probing fishkill on beach in Barbados

Some of the hundreds of jacks on the beach at Cattlewash, St Joseph. Heather-Lynn Evanson

Hundreds of big eyed jacks have washed up on a stretch of East Coast beach and environment officials aren't quite sure why.

Right now, their best guess is low oxygen levels in the water.

Yesterday morning the dead silver scale fish were the first thing that greeted Kim Somerville, who walks the Cattlewash, St Joseph beach every weekend.

She journeyed to the area for her weekly ritual, when she came across the sight.


- ABC6 | East Hampton Star | Nation News.






PLANETARY TREMORS: Notable 4.0 Magnitude Temblor Rumbles Near Harrah, Oklahoma - USGS! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

April 26, 2016 - OKLAHOMA, UNITED STATES - A 4.0 magnitude earthquake rattled residents in central Oklahoma on Tuesday.

The quake struck four miles east northeast of the town of Harrah, or about 24 miles east of the Oklahoma City metro at approximately 10:44 a.m.


USGS shakemap intensity.


Its epicenter was recorded at a depth of just less than seven miles.


So far there have been no reports of damage or injuries associated with this quake.

Many residents in central Oklahoma felt the earth move Tuesday.



















According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from 2.5 to 3.0 are generally the smallest ones felt by humans.

Damage is more likely with quakes at magnitudes of 4.0 and higher.



USGS Tectonic Summary - Earthquakes in the Stable Continental Region


Natural Occurring Earthquake Activity
Most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains has infrequent earthquakes. Here and there earthquakes are more numerous, for example in the New Madrid seismic zone centered on southeastern Missouri, in the Charlevoix-Kamouraska seismic zone of eastern Quebec, in New England, in the New York - Philadelphia - Wilmington urban corridor, and elsewhere. However, most of the enormous region from the Rockies to the Atlantic can go years without an earthquake large enough to be felt, and several U.S. states have never reported a damaging earthquake.

Earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains, although less frequent than in the West, are typically felt over a much broader region than earthquakes of similar magnitude in the west. East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area more than ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast. It would not be unusual for a magnitude 4.0 earthquake in eastern or central North America to be felt by a significant percentage of the population in many communities more than 100 km (60 mi) from its source. A magnitude 5.5 earthquake in eastern or central North America might be felt by much of the population out to more than 500 km (300 mi) from its source. Earthquakes east of the Rockies that are centered in populated areas and large enough to cause damage are, similarly, likely to cause damage out to greater distances than earthquakes of the same magnitude centered in western North America.

Most earthquakes in North America east of the Rockies occur as faulting within bedrock, usually miles deep. Few earthquakes east of the Rockies, however, have been definitely linked to mapped geologic faults, in contrast to the situation at plate boundaries such as California's San Andreas fault system, where scientists can commonly use geologic evidence to identify a fault that has produced a large earthquake and that is likely to produce large future earthquakes. Scientists who study eastern and central North America earthquakes often work from the hypothesis that modern earthquakes occur as the result of slip on preexisting faults that were formed in earlier geologic eras and that have been reactivated under the current stress conditions. The bedrock of Eastern North America is, however, laced with faults that were active in earlier geologic eras, and few of these faults are known to have been active in the current geologic era. In most areas east of the Rockies, the likelihood of future damaging earthquakes is currently estimated from the frequencies and sizes of instrumentally recorded earthquakes or earthquakes documented in historical records.

Induced Seismicity
As is the case elsewhere in the world, there is evidence that some central and eastern North America earthquakes have been triggered or caused by human activities that have altered the stress conditions in earth's crust sufficiently to induce faulting. Activities that have induced felt earthquakes in some geologic environments have included impoundment of water behind dams, injection of fluid into the earth's crust, extraction of fluid or gas, and removal of rock in mining or quarrying operations. In much of eastern and central North America, the number of earthquakes suspected of having been induced is much smaller than the number of natural earthquakes, but in some regions, such as the south-central states of the U.S., a significant majority of recent earthquakes are thought by many seismologists to have been human-induced.

Even within areas with many human-induced earthquakes, however, the activity that seems to induce seismicity at one location may be taking place at many other locations without inducing felt earthquakes. In addition, regions with frequent induced earthquakes may also be subject to damaging earthquakes that would have occurred independently of human activity. Making a strong scientific case for a causative link between a particular human activity and a particular sequence of earthquakes typically involves special studies devoted specifically to the question. Such investigations usually address the process by which the suspected triggering activity might have significantly altered stresses in the bedrock at the earthquake source, and they commonly address the ways in which the characteristics of the suspected human-triggered earthquakes differ from the characteristics of natural earthquakes in the region.


- News9 | KFOR | USGS.






PLAGUE & PESTILENCES: A Strange Birth Defect Is On The Rise In The United States, Says CDC - Causing A Baby's Intestines To Portrude OUTSIDE Of His Or Her Body; Scientists Are Baffled?!


April 26, 2016 - UNITED STATES - A strange birth defect is on the rise in the United States, and scientists are at a loss to explain it.

Gastroschisis is a birth defect that causes a baby’s intestines to protrude outside of his/her body, through a hole in the abdominal wall beside the belly button. Sometimes this hole is very small, but it can also be quite large, and other organs such as the stomach and liver can extend from the baby’s body.

The birth defect forms during the early stages of pregnancy when the fetal abdominal wall fails to develop properly. As a result, the bowel can become irritated, causing it to shorten, twist, or swell as the intestines are not covered in a protective sac.

Surgery is required to place the abdominal organs back inside the baby’s body. In cases where the hole is large, surgery is sometimes done in stages. The defect is potentially life-threatening, and children can suffer problems with feeding and digestion of food even after surgery is completed.

Fortunately, babies that survive – and most of them do – eventually go on to lead normal lives.

The prevalence of gastroschisis climbed by about 30% to 4.9 births out of 10,000 between 2006 and 2012. This is up from 3.6 births out of 10,000 from 1995 to 2005. [1]

Gastroschisis occurs most frequently in babies born to mothers younger than 20, though the rate has increased among mothers of all ages. Young white mothers give birth to babies with the defect at a rate of 18.1 per 10,000 births. The rate among Hispanic mothers is 16.1 per 10,000 births, and the current rate among black mothers is 10.2 although it is increasing rapidly among blac

“We don’t know why,” said Coleen A. Boyle, the director of the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. “We continue to be concerned that this condition is increasing, and we do see a more rapid rise among non-Hispanic black teens.” [1]





Smokers and drinkers are more likely to have a baby with gastroschisis, but Boyle said “those are risk factors” and not causes.
“We don’t know if those risk factors are contributing to the increase,” he continued.
The defect was also found more commonly in babies born to mothers who had a sexually transmitted disease or were underweight before pregnancy.

A new report notes the increase in the defect has nothing to do with the number of babies born to teenage mothers. Teen pregnancy has declined since 1995.

Though researchers haven’t pinpointed the cause of the increase in gastroschisis, they suspect environmental factors such as mother’s diet, medications used during pregnancy, and exposures to toxins may play a role.
“Public health research is urgently needed to figure out the cause and why certain women are at higher risk of having a baby born with gastroschisis,” Boyle said.
CDC epidemiologist Suzanne Gilboa said several federally-funded studies are tracking pregnant women to try to determine the cause of the increasing instance of gastroschisis.

Sources:
[1] The New York Times
Los Angeles Times
U.S. News & World Report
- Natural Society.





 

FUK-U-SHIMA: Dead Animals Litter California Beaches - Experts Says "We're Really Starting To WORRY,... ALARMING PHENOMENON,... GRAVEYARD Of Washed-Up Sea Life,... Influx Of MALNOURISHED Sea Creatures,... Animals Are STARVING TO DEATH,... Covered In SORES,... Stunted Growth,... Weak Immune Systems,..."! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

A walk on Point Dume’s beach recently resembles a graveyard of washed-up sea life. On the stretch of the Pacific Coast between Little Dume and Westward Beach, one
finds a surplus of dead sea lions, tuna crabs and crows littered on the sand, a defunctive and rotten smell permeating the sea air. Julia Naman

April 26, 2016 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - Officials are investigating why sick sea lions are washing up onshore… The Laguna Beach Pacific Marine Mammal Center has an overflow of sea lions… The reason for the influx of sea lions remains a disappearing cold water food source… Another unusual phenomenon they are seeing: Elephant and harbor seals are coming into the centers in addition to California sea lions, and that is not typical. - NBC L.A..


“Now, an alarming number of sea lions are washing up along our local beaches… it is taking longer to rehabilitate these sick sea lions… Experts say [they are] taking longer to become healthier.” - NBC L.A. transcript.


WATCH: 'Revolving Door': Influx of more than 100 stranded sea lions.




Most are malnourished and many are infected with parasites, [said Keith Matassa, Pacific Marine Mammal Center]… “The rehabbing process is slower this year because the sea lions are coming in older and sicker.” - Laguna Beach Independent.


Dead animals litter California beaches — California is in its third straight year of “unusual mortality” rates for sea lions. The dismal state was first declared in January of 2013 and death rates have increased each year since… It looks like 2016 will be worse… They are starving to death. The same goes for birds… California beaches are littered with dead sea lions and birds. Watch our video for more on this alarming phenomenon. [Video transcript: (Stephen Scheiblauer, Monterey Harbormaster:) "We're seeing a greater mortality of sea lions... also some kinds of birds… We bury [sea lions]… dig a big trench and bury it.”] - Salon.


WATCH: Dead animals litter California beaches.




A walk on Point Dume’s beach [Malibu, California] recently resembles a graveyard of washed-up sea life. On the stretch of the Pacific Coast… dead sea lions, tuna crabs and crows littered on the sand, a defunctive and rotten smell permeating the sea air… [S]tranded sea lions have become a regular sight for those who frequent Point Dume, as beach-goers stretch their towels yards away from the rotting corpses. “This has been a coast-wide problem for the past four years,” Seasonal Assistant Marine Coordinator Colleen Weiler said. - Pepperdine University’s student newspaper (‘The Graphic‘).


It’s the fourth year in a row that there have been mass landings of California sea lion pups in Malibu,
according to the California Wildlife Center of the Marine Mammal Department. Julia Naman

PMMC’s Ramiro Barbuzano makes a rescue near Aliso Beach assisted by emeritus board member John Cunningham,
who was out for a walk and came upon the sick sea lion pup. Julia Naman

Since the government declared the issue an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) in 2013, stranded sea lions have become a regular sight for those who frequent Point Dume,
as beach-goers stretch their towels yards away from the rotting corpses. Julia Naman

“This has been a coast-wide problem for the past four years,” Seasonal Assistant Marine Coordinator Colleen Weiler said.
“Every rehab center in California is kind of stretched to the limit.” Julia Naman

One of the most concerning side effects are the sea lion pups, which Weiler described as “really skinny, emaciated and dehydrated” due to a food shortage in the water.
While pups should be around 40 pounds, the ones that have been rescued weigh closer to 25 pounds. Julia Naman


Marine Mammal Center dealing with influx of malnourished sea creatures… Hundreds of elephant seals, harbor seals, and sea lions are [at the center]… Rescue crews are bringing them in daily because they simply don’t have enough to eat… Dr. Shawn Johnson is the lead veterinarian at the center and said the animals are starving… - KRON.


WATCH: Marine Mammal Center dealing with influx of malnourished sea creatures.

 



Rescued seals are brought [in] with seaborne diseases… causing bumps and blisters on the face, neck and flippers… - The Channels Newspaper.


WATCH: SBCC volunteers rescue and heal sea lions.




Marine Mammal Center coping with relentness influx of ailing sea lions… “They are skin and bones, they are malnourished, they have secondary infections like pneumonia because their immune systems are suppressed,” said [Dr. Shawn Johnson]… the sea lions appear to be experiencing stunted growth… “These are the smallest pups we have seen in 41 years of study,” [NOAA's Sharon Melin] said. - Marin Independent Journal.


“I think the evidence is that the other species are already being affected [and] that the numbers of fish are lower that they are trying to eat,” Martin said. “[Point Dume] is
where [sea lions] congregate. The sea lions can go swimming wherever they want, but they go to rocky places to haul out.” Julia Naman

A sea lion pup will be examined upon its admission. Bill Hunnewell, The Marine Mammal Center

The availability of food is at the heart of this crisis. Bill Hunnewell, The Marine Mammal Center

Much can be learned from our sea lion patients. Photo by Bill Hunnewell. The Marine Mammal Center

This is the fourth year in a row that we’ve seen California sea lions in crisis… [This year] these animals are also unusually small… essentially fur-covered skeletons—they seem to be experiencing stunted growth… pup weights are the lowest ever documented… [T]he spike in sea lion strandings began before the current El NiƱo pattern took hold and even before the warm water “blob” began to form… “After four years of sea lions in crisis, the initial shock of seeing so many starving sea lions is over and now we’re really starting to worry about long-term impacts on the population as a whole,” says Dr. Shawn Johnson, Director of Veterinary Science at the Center. - The Marine Mammal Center.

Watch videos here: NBC LA | Salon | KRON

- ENE News.



 

PLANETARY TREMORS: Catastrophic Mega-Quake - Fears Rise As One Huge Tremor A Day Hits World So Far THIS MONTH!

There has been an increase in major earthquakes in the Ring of Fire this month. GETTY

April 26, 2016 - EARTH - Ecuador has been rocked by a series of earthquakes just days after a huge tremor claimed nearly 600 lives.

The South American country experienced 16 offshore tremors of a magnitude four or above TODAY alone, including one which reached six on the Richter scale, according to live data compiled by seismologists.

The scale six quake hit about 62 miles north-northwest of Portoviejo at six miles deep, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Fortunately none of the 16 tremors led to reports of damage and no tsunami warnings have been issued yet.

Last week express.co.uk revealed there were fears among scientists that a so-called "Big One" earthquakes could be due in the Pacific Ring of Fire or south Asia, including Nepal, where a 7.8 magnitude quake struck a year ago.

Yesterday, we told how a former USGS scientist fears a Big One could could strike the west coast of USA as early as TODAY.

Now an investigation by express.co.uk into earthquake archive data has shown there has been a higher than average amount of earthquakes this month and they have intensified in frequency and strength.

Alarmingly, there have also been more major earthquakes of magnitude six or above. Anything of magnitude seven or more is classified as a potential natural disaster.


April has seen the most earthquakes, including major ones of 2016. GETTY

There have been more magnitude six or above earthquakes in the first 22 days of April than the whole of February and March combined.

In March and February there were just seven and 10 respectively six or above quakes across the globe.

But from April 1 to today, there have been 22 - an average of one a day.

And 13 of these struck in the last 12 days alone.

Twenty of the 22 major quakes in April were in and around the Pacific Ring of Fire, the most seismically active part of the globe, which also features scores of active volcanoes, many of which are currently erupting or on amber alert warnings.

This month two of the earthquakes have been above magnitude seven - last Friday's scale seven one which rocked Kyushu in Japan, and Saturday's 7.8 monster which hit Ecuador.

In April 2015 there were 15 earthquakes of this scale for the whole month, including the huge 7.8 magnitude quake which struck Nepal, killing hundreds.

Global earthquake archives show that the number of medium (magnitude four or above) quakes has also risen this month.

There was an average of 26.5 of these a day in March and so far in April there have been an average of 40 a day, with an alarming 111 happening on Sunday.

The bulk of these have been around the Ring of Fire and south Asia.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa tweeted following todays quakes that aftershocks registered as "having strength!"

At least 587 people were killed in Ecuador on Saturday, and 7,000 people injured.


People stand next to the debris of a building after an earthquake struck off the Pacific coast, in Manta, Ecuador. Reuters

More than 150 remain missing and more than 2,000 buildings were damaged, according to local reports.

Experts admit the past two weeks has been exceptional in terms of earthquakes.

It began last Wednesday when a major 6.9 quake rocked Myanmar in Burma, and was felt in parts of India, but miraculously there were no reported deaths and minimal damage.

A week ago, the Japanese southern island of Kyushu was hit by a 6.5-level earthquake that killed about nine people and injured hundreds, causing major damage.

Less than 48 hours later, the same area suffered a bigger magnitude 7.3 quake, killing at least 33, with 2,000 people evacuated and thousands of homes left without power and water.

Some scientists fear a mega-earthquake, measuring more than 8.0, is scheduled to hit us every 400 to 600 years, and we are now long overdue one on this scale.

Research at the USGS into a phenomenon known as “remote triggering” — whereby an earthquake in one part of the world can cause one in another region - remains ongoing.

According to the journal Nature Geoscience there are also fears the April 2015 earthquake “failed to rupture the locked portions of the Himalayan thrust beneath and west of the Kathmandu basin because of some persistent barrier of mechanical and structural origin".

The study added "consequently, the stress could be released by afterslip" which would leave the chance of the locked portion producing a further large earthquake.

BK Rastogi, director general of the Ahmedabad-based Institute of Seismological Research, said: "An earthquake of the same magnitude is overdue.

"That may happen either today or 50 years from now in the region of the Kashmir, Himachal, Punjab and Uttrakhand Himalyas. Seismic gaps have been identified in these regions.

"The accumulation of stress is going on everywhere. But where it will reach the elastic limit, we don't know nor also when. "But what we do know is that it is happening everywhere."

But not all seismologist are worried by the recent trend.

Gary Gibson, a seismologist and professor at the University of Melbourne, told Time: "We do know that large earthquakes cluster.

“The last two or three weeks have been exceptional, there is no question about that.”

But Mr Gibson is not among those convinced it is building up to something bigger.

He added: “In terms of worrying about whether it means an even bigger one somewhere else, I don’t think so.”

Wu Pak-cheuk, who heads the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Hong Kong, told TIME: "A correlation between the Japanese and Ecuadorian earthquakes was highly unlikely, because they are a little too far away, and not on the same tectonic plate.” - Express.





EXTREME WEATHER: More Signs Of Increasing Magnetic Polar Migration - Lightning Strikes Kill Woman, 18 Cows And 4 Pigs In Thailand!

Huge thunderstorm leaves trail of death & destruction across two provinces, destroying homes, crop fields, trees, killing many animals & one human.

April 26, 2016 - THAILAND - Huge thunderstorm in Nan & Phrae leaves trail of death & destruction, homes, crop fields, trees, destroyed, leaving many animals & one human dead.

In the northern Thai provinces of Nan and Phrae, summer thunderstorms struck with lightning strikes that killed one person and several animals on Monday night.

An elderly woman, Singha Prachuap, 60, was found dead in her orchard in Den Chai or Phrae.

She had taken refuge in a small shelter that collapsed on top of her during the storm.

Twenty-two cows and pigs died from lightning strikes and hundreds of homes were damaged.

Dead cows


In Nan, at Nithakorn farm in tambon Muang Chang, a total of 18 cows were killed when lightning hit their pen in Phu Phiang district.

Farmer Padung Phetdin, 53, said the storm cost him more than 500,000 baht.

Dead pigs


Four pigs lie dead and seven others injured after their pen was hit by lightning on Monday night. Rarinthorn Petcharoen

Lightning bolts also struck a pig farm in nearby tambon Nanao in the same district, killing four pigs and injuring several others.

Thoon Nusupa, 66, headman (kamnan) of tambon Thanao and owner of the pig farm, said the thunderstorm brought heavy rain and hit the district while he was feeding his pigs.

Lightning struck the big trees behind the pig pens at least 10 times.

After rain stopped, he surveyed the damage to his farm .

Four pigs were dead and seven others were in convulsions.

Damage in PhraeIn Phrae, Soldiers sent to survey the storm damage at seven villages in Den Chai and Wang Chin districts reported 514 houses in Den Chai district were damaged.

In Wang Chin district, 89 houses and a school were damaged, with many roofs blown away by the storms.

Many trees were reported to have been toppled along about 5 kilometres of a road in Den Chai district.

There were widespread blackouts in several villages in the district starting about 8pm on Monday.

Several pigs were also clearly in pain, the sub-district (tambon) chief said.

Pundit Witthayan, chairman of Thanao tambon administration organisation.

Mr Thoon's pig farm was the largest in the community, with more than 600 pigs, said Pundit Witthayan, chairman of Thano tambon administration organisation (TAO).

Lightning strikes killed and injured animals in three pens at the farm, said Mr Pundit.

A storm also caused damage to 54 houses and 14 crop fields in Chiang Klang district. - Bangkok Post.




 

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - Possible Humpback Whale Seen In Chesapeake Bay In A "PRETTY UNUSUAL" Event?! [VIDEO]

File photo.

April 26, 2016 - MARYLAND, UNITED STATES - What is very likely a humpback whale has been spotted in the Chesapeake Bay.

Cellphone video of the whale was captured by David Lehan of Lusby, Maryland last Friday while he was acting as first mate on a charter boat fishing for striped bass.

“I wouldn’t say definitely, but it’s probably a humpback whale,” said Susan Barco, senior research scientist with the Stranding Response Program of the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center.

The whale was spotted at 2:30 p.m. Friday in about 80 feet of water due east of Solomons, Maryland near the mouth of the Patuxent River.

Publisher’s note: This video contains explicit language and may not be appropriate for some viewers.

WATCH: Possible humpback whale spotted in Chesapeake Bay.




“It’s pretty unusual,” Barco said of the whale being so far up the Chesapeake Bay away from the ocean. “It’s probably been a good 25 years since I remember one up that far.”

Lehan said he didn’t believe it at first.

“I never saw a whale that big — even out in the ocean,” he said.

The captains of “Marcy Lynn,” the charter boat, estimate the whale was 25-30 feet long and Barco believes it, saying that would make the whale an older juvenile.

“It came out of the water 10 or 12 times, so it really got a chance to show us how big it was,” Lehan said.

It was raining hard that afternoon and the owner of the boat went out on the bow in the pouring rain trying to roll video of the whale’s antics. His phone screen went gray, but Lehan said it returned to life once the phone dried out.

Barco said there are numbers of theories for why whales perform aerial acrobatics known as “breaching.”
  • Breaching may be a way to knock off parasites that can gather on whale’s skin.
  • The water slapping noise serves as a form of long distance communication.
  • Loud landing noises scare fish into tighter schools that are easier to eat.
  • Any or all of the above.
Could they just be having fun?

“That’s certainly a possibility,” Barco said. “Young wales often flipper slap and slap their tails and things like that. It could be why.”

Boaters who see whales should stay at least 300 feet away from them, Barco said, in order to avoid the chance for a collision that could injure the gentle giants. - WTOP.






 

THE WAR ON MOTHER NATURE: "Symbolic Of Humanity's Shocking Disregard For Marine Life" - Massive Whales Found Stranded Around The North Sea Had Stomachs Full Of Plastic Debris!


April 26, 2016 - NORTH SEA - The whales' deaths are symbolic of humanity's shocking disregard for marine life.

In January, 29 sperm whales were found stranded on shores around the North Sea, an area that is too shallow for the marine wildlife. Only recently were details of the animals' necropsy released. However, scientists were deeply disturbed by what they found in the animals' stomachs.

According to a press release from Wadden Sea National Park in Schleswig-Holstein, many of the whales had stomachs FULL of plastic debris, including a 13-meter-long fishing net, a 70 cm piece of plastic from a car and other pieces of plastic litter.

Some suggest that the animals thought the items were food, such as squid, which is their main staple. Others, however, believe that the travesty is largely a result of humanity's shocking disregard for marine life, which has resulted in an overabundance of plastic in the oceans.

Said Robert Habeck, environment minister for the state of Schleswig-Holstein:
"These findings show us the results of our plastic-oriented society. Animals inadvertently consume plastic and plastic waste, which causes them to suffer, and at worst, causes them to starve with full stomachs."
Nicola Hodgkins of Whale and Dolphin Conservation echoed that statement. She stated:
"Although the large pieces will cause obvious problems and block the gut, we shouldn't dismiss the smaller bits that could cause a more chronic problem for all species of cetacean - not just those who suction feed."
This isn't the first time a sperm whale has been found dead with innards full of inedible contents. In 2011, a young whale was found floating dead off the Greek island of Mykonos. Its stomach was so distended, biologists thought the animal swallowed a giant squid. However, when its four stomachs were dissected, nearly 100 plastic bags and other pieces of debris were found.

It should be noted that the plastic is not what killed the young male sperm whales. According to National Geographic, they died of heart failure. This was a result of mistakenly swimming into the North Sea, likely in search of squid, and then not being able to support their own body weights in the shallow water. As a result, their internal organs collapsed.

Regardless, the fact that many of their stomachs were full of pollution is a horrible indictment of humans. As has been reported in the past, 80% of the plastic which is discarded on land ends up in the oceans, where it is consumed by wildlife or swirls for years in great garbage patches. The fact that mankind - a species with a smaller brain than a whale - is responsible for such a travesty is ironic and saddening.

Until humans learn the value of living sustainably while respecting all life forms, travesties such as this one will continue to take place.

- Natural Blaze.





 

PLANETARY TREMORS: "Short But Scary" - Notable 4.1 Magnitude Earthquake Felt Around Vienna, Austria; Geologists Warn That A Mega-Quake Will Hit The Region! [MAPS]

USGS earthquake location.

April 26, 2016 - VIENNA, AUSTRIA - A small earthquake hit Lower Austria and Vienna around Monday lunchtime, with residents feeling the impact across different districts in the city.

The earthquake measurement website EMSC confirmed an earthquake happened 18 kilometres south-west of Vienna at around 12.28pm. USGS registered the tremor with a 3.9 magnitude.

EMSC measured the magnitude around 4.4, although the Austrian Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics said it was 4.1.

Residents writing on social media confirmed feeling the earthquake, the centre of which was in Raum Alland in Lower Austria, throughout Vienna, including the 3rd, 9th, 13th, and 19th districts.


EMSC-CSEM earthquake location - regional view

EMSC-CSEM earthquake location - local view

"Short but scary", is how Twitter user Velina Tchakarova described it. Writing on the EMSC website, witnesses described the floor and ceiling "moving some centimeters" and they felt the "chair bounce and desk move"

It is not unknown for Austria to experience small earthquakes, with the most recent one of a similar magnitude thought to have occurred in Lower Austria in 2013. Another similar quake hit Carinthia in January 2015.

Geologists warned last December, however, that the Vienna region is at risk of being hit by a strong earthquake at some point in the future.

A seismically active fault system runs deep under the Vienna Basin geological area, which covers Vienna, Lower Austria and parts of Slovakia and the Czech Republic.


USGS shakemap intensity.

Because many of the fault lines have been inactive for the last 200 or 300 years they are not thought to be hazardous.

However, geologist Dr. Kurt Decker from the University of Vienna told The Local that the risk of a large-scale earthquake occurring in the Vienna region has been underestimated and that scientists must examine historical data more closely.

"There are half a dozen known fault lines under the Vienna Basin which are moving at a very slow rate, but we believe that every 20,000 years or so they are capable of causing an earthquake on the scale of 6.0 or 7.0 on the Richter scale," he added.

Some jokers thought perhaps this time it had something to do with Austria's recent 'political earthquake' that saw the right-wing FPOe coming top in the presidential race.

Twitter user Johnito joked: "Mother nature expresses her anger about the rise of far-right."


- The Local.





FIRE IN THE SKY: "Bright Streaks Of Light" - Fireball Seen Over Birmingham, England As Lyrids Meteor Shower Arrives!

AP Photo/Amel Emric

April 26, 2016 - ENGLAND - Bright streaks of light in the skies over Birmingham - will you be watching?

People in Birmingham are being treated to another dramatic display of shooting stars this week.

A meteor shower known as the Lyrids has arrived in the skies and will reach maximum intensity on the night of April 22/23.

Some shooting stars are expected to be visible each night from April 19 to 25.

There has already been one report of a 'fireball' over Birmingham. So will you be watching?





Here's all you need to know.

What is the Lyrids meteor shower?

The Lyrids consist of dust particles left behind by comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, which takes about 415 years to orbit the sun.

They are considered the oldest known meteor shower and have been observed from earth for 2,600 years.

The meteor shower takes it name from the constellation Lyra, the point in the sky from which they all seem to radiate.

Some of the shooting stars are very bright and are indeed known as 'Lyrid fireballs', casting shadows for a split second and leaving a smoky debris trail that can be visible for several minutes.

What's the best way to see them?

Spotting shooting stars is always better when the sky is very dark, as with the Virginids earlier in April. But as the video above from Tim Lloyd shows, it's still possible to see something.

At midnight, the Lyrids appear 32 degrees above the eastern horizon from Birmingham. All of the meteors will appear to be coming from this point, known as the radiant.

The best place to look to see as many meteors as possible is not at the radiant itself but at any dark patch of sky which is around 90 degrees from it, where they will typically appear at their brightest.

It's best to get away from cities where light pollution will add its own glow to the sky and make it more difficult to see celestial objects. The Clent Hills and Lickey Hills near Birmingham would make good places to go.

According to astronomers at In-The-Sky.org, you could see up to 10 meteors per hour.

However, the moon will be 16 days old at the time of peak activity and adding quite a glow to the night sky - because it's getting brighter as we move towards full moon (April 22), this could limit what we can see.

No special equipment is needed. But allow 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark.

Remember to be patient - bring a reclining chair or a blanket so you can lie back and look up without straining your neck.

As with all celestial events, viewing conditions depend on the weather. Cloud cover will obscure the display, so check the forecast before heading out.


- Birmingham Mail.