EDITORIAL : What’s with all the dead birds and fish? I blame the Internet. In this day and age, it’s easy to take similar events from far-flung places, connect dots and draw conclusions that aren’t exactly scientific. In fact, someone actually plotted those dots on a Google map.
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Ever since the bizarre New Year’s Eve bird kill in Beebe, Arkansas, where 5,000 blackbirds literally fell from the sky, mass deaths have SEEMED to have become a trend. Right after the Hitchcock-like freak out in Beebe, 100,000 fish were reportedly found dead in the nearby Arkansas River. Another 500 blackbirds fell in Louisiana.
Now we’re getting dispatches from Brazil (100 tons of dead catfish and sardines), New Zealand (hundreds of dead snapper) and Sweden (more birds). The latest: 2 MILLION fish dead in the Chesapeake.Jerry DeMarco Publisher/Editor
And if you think that’s freaky: During a rainstorm in 1901, hundreds — if not thousands — of frogs fell from the sky in Minneapolis. Fish have reportedly dropped from the clouds in Singapore in 1861, and then more than a century later in Ipswich. Greece had a frog shower in 1981, and Bournemouth, England was dressed in herring after a rainstorm in 1948.
So this isn’t anything new. Or unusual.
Snopes.com, the debunker of all things seemingly preposterous, is conspicuously silent on the latest carnage. Public officials in local areas are blaming weather and New Year fireworks.
Better to listen to the people who actually know about these things: Wildlife biologists say fierce night storms and lightning could be factors affecting the fowl, with severe drops in water temperatures in places like the Chesapeake fileting the fish.
Unfortunately, the Internet stage is big enough for all kinds of sideshows — many of them now starring those who believe a phenomenon of such biblical proportions is, in fact, biblical.
The “web,” as we used to call it, has so democratized “facts” and events that a Christian radio evangelist has gone viral by predicting that May 21 will be the beginning of the end (It’s the Saturday of the weekend BEFORE Memorial Day weekend, in case you like to plan things in advance). Believers will be taken to heaven and the rest of us heathens will be left to witness the end of time firsthand, the guy says.
Only, as with most things, we’ll have to wait: Although he says the apocalypse will begin in May, time won’t end until October.
At least we won’t miss the World Series.
Meantime: Haven’t seen any frogs yet. You?
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