Millions of stranded prawns blanket south Chile coast

March 21, 2013
Prawns are pictured in August 12, 2004. Millions of small prawns became stranded on a beach in southern Chile this week, carpeting a three-kilometer (two-mile) strand in red, local fishermen and police said.

Millions of small prawns became stranded on a beach in southern Chile this week, carpeting a three-kilometer (two-mile) strand in red, local fishermen and police said.

The fishermen in the Coronel area, some 500 kilometers (300 miles) south of Santiago, began noticing something out of the ordinary at the beginning of the week.

There were giant "red spots" appearing just off the shore, fishermen union president Juan Gutierrez told AFP.

By Tuesday, the red mass had moved to land: "Millions of prawns were stranded on the beach," Gutierrez said, shocked.

"I've been a fisherman 39 years and have never seen anything like it before," he said.

Gutierrez added that he's seen more prawns clumping near the shoreline, indicating another mass stranding could happen.

As residents removed the thick red spread of , each a centimeter or smaller, civil police have also arrived to take samples and investigate the cause of this unusual phenomenon.

They will be looking to see "whether there was any trace or element" in the shrimp that would explain why they stranded en masse.

They are also working to determine conditions in the Coronel Bay, including its "temperature, , and, especially, oxygen," environmental crimes investigator Victor Casanova told local media.

So far, the cause of the event is unknown. Some are blaming a change in , while others suggest the culprit is a local coal-fired thermoelectric plant that uses as a coolant.

Explore further: Indonesians hack into beached whales in mass stranding

Related Stories

Scientists remove allergens from prawns

February 26, 2007

Chinese researchers say they have good news for seafood allergy sufferers who might soon be able to eat prawns without the fear of an adverse reaction.

Rescued sperm whale dies in Indonesia

July 30, 2012

A sperm whale that was rescued and returned to sea after being stranded for four days in shallow waters off the coast of West Java in Indonesia has died, a rescuer said Monday.

Recommended for you

Nanoscale Lamb wave-driven motors in nonliquid environments

March 19, 2019

Light driven movement is challenging in nonliquid environments as micro-sized objects can experience strong dry adhesion to contact surfaces and resist movement. In a recent study, Jinsheng Lu and co-workers at the College ...

OSIRIS-REx reveals asteroid Bennu has big surprises

March 19, 2019

A NASA spacecraft that will return a sample of a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu to Earth in 2023 made the first-ever close-up observations of particle plumes erupting from an asteroid's surface. Bennu also revealed itself ...

The powerful meteor that no one saw (except satellites)

March 19, 2019

At precisely 11:48 am on December 18, 2018, a large space rock heading straight for Earth at a speed of 19 miles per second exploded into a vast ball of fire as it entered the atmosphere, 15.9 miles above the Bering Sea.

Levitating objects with light

March 19, 2019

Researchers at Caltech have designed a way to levitate and propel objects using only light, by creating specific nanoscale patterning on the objects' surfaces.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.