Last week, I found a couple of news items to be interesting and I thought I would share them with you.
The first item is a somewhat controversial theory that suggests that outbreaks of salmonella may have played a role in the collapse of the once mighty Aztec Empire.
The second item that grabbed my attention was a half-eaten shark that washed up on a beach in Florida. The dead shark, which was about five feet long when it was alive, was either a blacktip or a spinner shark. “It is unknown what type of predator bit the shark or how far offshore it was when it was attacked,” said Beach Safety spokesperson Tammy Morris.
In my book Water Monsters South of the Border, I spoke a bit about giant sharks. The following is an excerpt:
It might be possible to add a category for sea creatures south of the border as well. The Caribbean is home to several sea monsters including a large, segmented worm referred to as “the thing;” a giant octopus, reminiscent of the legendary Kraken; and truly monstrous sharks. Across the continent, in the Gulf of California, giant sharks are said to exist as well.
What can only be described as a monster was caught by Cuban fisherman in 1945; dubbed “el Monstruo de Cojimar,” the massive great white measured 21 feet in length and weighed a whopping 7,000 pounds! What was once thought of as a “fish story,” due to the fact that great whites normally range between 11-16 feet in length, was confirmed to be true in 2015 when a documentary crew working for the Discovery Channel went to Cuba to investigate the legend.1
The coral reefs off of the coast of Cuba are prime habitat for populations of large sharks. Many believe that it is not a question of if, but of when, another monster—a record-setting shark will be discovered.
Sharks that dwarf “el Monstruo de Cojimar,” may be lurking in the depths of the Sea of Cortez (also known as the Gulf of California). Colossal sharks, collectively known as the Black Demon, have been spotted that measure an incredible 60 feet in length and weigh tens of thousands of pounds. This has led many to speculate that this is either a new, or rather, an uncategorized species of shark, or—and perhaps more disturbing—a remnant population of Megalodon sharks.
Could the apex predator, the prehistoric Megalodon be alive today? Scientists are quick to say no. But, does the possibility exist? The Sea of Cortez reaches depths exceeding 9,800 feet in spots; what kind of mysterious creatures could be lurking in this abyss?