0

3,500-pound great white shark dubbed “Queen of the Ocean” spotted off North America’s coast

Posted on

A 3,500 pound great white shark dubbed Nukumi — meaning “Queen of the Ocean” — has been spotted off the coast of Nova Scotia. The massive 50-year-old shark was tagged and released by Ocearch, a research and exploring team that hopes its latest trip out to sea provides new clues to unravel the mysteries of great whites.

“When you see these big females like that that have scars from decades over their lives and multiple mating cycles, you can really kinda see the story of their life unfolding across all the blotches and healed wounds on their body,” team leader Chris Fischer told CBS News’ Jeff Glor. “It really hits you differently thank you would think.”   

1602347850658.png
A 50-year-old, 3,500-pound shark nicknamed Nukumi, meaning “Queen of the Ocean.”

CBS News/Ocearch


Tagging Nukumi, one of the largest great white sharks ever seen, was the crowning achievement of Ocearch’s month-long trip off the North American coast that had them running from storms for 21 days in the middle of an unprecedented Atlantic hurricane season. 

1602347758852.png
Tagging Nukumi, one of the largest great white sharks ever seen, was the crowning achievement of Ocearch’s month-long trip.

CBS News / Ocearch


At the end, Ocearch was successfully able to sample and release a total of eight great white sharks, including the so-called “Queen of the Ocean.” 

Fischer explained that tracking Nukumi comes with a “great opportunity” to show the researchers “where the Atlantic Canada white shark gives birth” — something that has never been witnessed before. 

Along with gathering more information on their birth, Ocearch’s goal is to learn more about the apex predators that keep the ocean in balance

“If they thrive, the system thrives,” Fischer explained. “The white shark is the balance keeper, and the path to abundance goes through them.”

Without white

0

COVID-19 and wildfire smoke put twindemic pressure on California, West Coast college students

Posted on

Fall weekends in Berkeley, California, have passed in a more subdued manner than years past.

How controlled fires have helped prevent mega-fires for centuries

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

Where throngs of college students once partied raucously, sororities and fraternities now are dark and quiet. Around the University of California’s campus, it’s clear school is underway. But where is everyone?

Most students have been staying inside – for weeks.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Like much of California, Berkeley students have faced overlapping crises that have limited options for learning, socializing and carrying out everyday life.

First, it was the coronavirus. The university scrapped its plan for a hybrid of in-person and online courses this fall when COVID-19 cases mushroomed in mid-July. Many students moved home. Those who stayed found pandemic restrictions in place on everything from large gatherings to indoor dining. 

Then, the fires came. California is battling the worst fire season in recorded history. Smoke has blanketed much of the state for weeks. 

That means physical exertion outside is not recommended, and prolonged exposure can lead to headaches, sore throats and worse. Weeks after thick smoke first sent Californians inside, fires have sparked again across California. The taste of smoke comes and goes, and at times, San Francisco is barely visible across the Bay.  

COVID-19, hurricanes, wildfires: 2020 is an American nightmare that’s wearing us out

Online classes have made the whole experience more isolating, UC Berkeley third-year undergraduate Katie Lyon told USA TODAY. Lyon, co-president of the Cal Hiking and Outdoors Society, has found it hard to practice self-care while staring at a screen all day, which is why she usually hikes “every opportunity that I get between my academic schedule.”

That’s become more difficult this

0

There’s a giant ‘Green Banana’ off Florida’s coast, and researchers have finally gotten to the bottom of it

Posted on

ocean
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

If you haven’t heard of the “Green Banana blue hole” you might imagine a tropical cocktail you can order in Key West, or a dessert you ordered after a night on Bourbon Street.


Forget that. This Green Banana is actually a mysterious sink hole. More specifically, it’s a huge, underwater cavern off the coast of Florida that humans had never fully explored—until last month.

Scientists say the Green Banana could hold clues to the formation of toxic red tides, algae blooms that are devastating to Florida’s shoreline, and the extent of the aquifer that supplies the state with most of its drinking water.

Maybe even the origins of life.

Blue holes—sink holes that form under water—are not unusual in the Gulf of Mexico. In the mid-1970s, a boat captain sailing about 60 miles west of Sarasota spotted one about 160 feet under water, and an unripe banana peel floating above it. It became known as the Green Banana.

Scientists believe it may have formed more than 10,000 years ago when a sink hole opened to form a cavern 265 feet deep and 425 feet below the surface of the Gulf, further than typical scuba divers are capable of reaching.

It’s not just the depth of the Green Banana that’s a challenge for explorers. It’s wide base created by an hourglass shape had never been fully explored until advanced diver Marty Watson did it in August with a team of scientists and researchers.

“What’s it like?” Watson asked. “I’m not an astronaut, but it’s got to be the closest thing in the world next to it.”

Blue holes are thought to be ecological hot spots whose nutrients help supply the food chain around the world. It starts with the phytoplankton that feed on those nutrients, which attracts