Hundreds of dead crab bodies washed up on a Chilean shore.
The dead crabs made landfall in Coronel City, a town about 330 miles from Santiago, the capital of Chile.
While the cause of the deaths is still unclear, local fisherman suggested that local power plants may have something to do with the mysterious dead crab fest. The local power stations use seawater to cool their plants, which may have caused the die out when the plants heated the water. The power plants have not commented on the dead crabs.
“We’re investigating the Coronel Bay to establish the physical parameters of temperature, electric conductivity and, above all, the oxygen,” Victor Casanova told the BBC. Casanova is a local environmental official.
Warm water doesn’t hold as much dissolved oxygen as cold water, and when a body of water is heated quickly, it sucks the oxygen out of the water, which can cause a massive die out for marine life.
While some locals are blaming pollution, others point to El Nino, the phenomenon that occasionally warms the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
“I’m 69 years old and started fishing when I was nine, but as a fisherman, I never saw a disaster of this magnitude,” local fisherman Gregorio Ortega told Radio Bio Bio, a Chilean radio station.
Fisherman spokeswoman Marisol Ortega worried about what effect the massive die out would have on the fishing economy of the area. “The way everything is being destroyed here, come the high season in November, we’re already thinking we won’t have anything to take from the sea.”