What is happening around us? Is this the 'Twilight Zone?' Several days ago we heard reports of a ghost ship, the 4,200-ton cruise ship, Lyubov Orlova, which might be hazardously adrift and headed for England or Ireland with an infestation of "cannibalistic rats" aboard. Now there are reports in some of the media publications that over 150 frozen sharks have been found on beaches on the Gulf Coast of the United States.
This last media release made me ask myself, "Is the media bored, or is it a contest to see who can add the most sensationalism to realism?" Well, I think it is a little of both, along with certain journalists laughing about the public's reactions to their stories. Look back at what Orson Wells did with his 1930 radio episode of "War of the Worlds." Even though people knew he was doing a series over Columbia Broadcasting System radio, many of the public panicked, thinking that the Earth was actually being invaded by Martians.
This latest frozen shark media hoax has gotten the attention of many people, since one media source claims that a representative of the Mississippi Wildlife Department warns that many of the frozen sharks are not dead, but in a state of hibernation due to the cold, and it is very dangerous to approach them on the beaches. One of these bogus reports claims that there has already been one fatality, which occurred when a man decided to take a selfie photo with a beached shark, and it goes on to say, they hope to recover the man's head later this week. Wow - what sensationalism!
There are several things truly scary about the "ghost ship" and the "frozen shark" articles. As I reported in a previous article, a large vessel that is adrift on the high seas is a threat to other commercial shipping, cruise lines, off shore fishing boats and oil rigs. It is known as fact that ships are breaking loose from moorings, going dead in the water, and being abandoned for other reasons, and until they are recovered or they sink, there is always a threat to other vessels and to oil rigs.
There is also a fact that goes along with the reports of frozen sharks, but it is not the sharks; it is the frigid weather that has brought frozen precipitation as far south as Florida. This weather is a definite threat to human and animal life, and more of it is reported on the way.
Before I leave you, I must admit that frozen sharks can be found along the Gulf Coast, and there are probably more than 150. However, they pose no threat to human life, unless you are allergic to fish. They are located in the frozen section of the supermarkets down there.
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Until next time, we will let the "World turn onto our next destination."