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Palestinian fishermen collect several Manta Ray fish that were washed up on the beach in Gaza City on February 27, 2013. (MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)

Dozens of manta rays washed up on the shores of Gaza City today, according to the Daily Mail—the first sighting of the fish in that area in six years.

It’s unclear what killed and bloodied such a large number of the giant fish, though according to Wikipedia (bear with me), manta rays do face a fair amount of danger in the sea:

Manta rays are subject to a number of other anthropogenic threats. Because mantas must swim constantly in order to flush oxygen-rich water over their gills, they are vulnerable to entanglement and subsequent suffocation. Mantas cannot swim backwards and, because of their protruding cephalic fins, they are prone to being caught in trailing fishing lines, nets and even loose mooring lines. When caught, mantas will often attempt to free themselves by somersaulting, tangling themselves further. It is possible for a loose, trailing line to wrap round and cut its way into a fleshy appendage, resulting in an irreversible injury such as the loss of a cephalic fin or damage to a pectoral fin, or even death if the wound is severe enough.

None of those possibilities, however, seems to explain what happened to these fish, shown being transported by fisherman to the marketplace.


Photo Credit: MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images


Photo Credit: MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images





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