No One Knows Why Two-Headed Sharks Seem To Be Turning Up Everywhere

The prevailing theories can all be explained by human interference.

As if sharks with just one head weren’t scary enough, it now seems that seafarers have to contend with a rising population of two-headed sharks in the waters, yet the reason for their recent proliferation remains unclear.

Just last week National Geographic published an article assuring people that two-headed sharks aren’t a hoax or sideshow creation. They’re real, and they’re becoming more and more common, both hatching from eggs and from live birth, according to the Journal of Fish Biology. Recently, a fisherman in Florida caught a bullshark carrying a two-headed fetus and several years ago, a two-headed blue shark was found in the Indian Ocean.

Christopher Johnson

Most of the specimens discovered were embryos or infants, as the hardships associated with the two-headed mutation keep the odds of survival to adulthood very low. So while that is good news for the legions of divers and surfers out there, it doesn’t bode quite so well for the sharks that share the ocean with them.

The blue shark has produced the most two-headed specimens, but it’s unknown if that’s due to a systematic cause or just that they produce a tremendous number of offspring overall (up to 50 at a time).

A couple of prevailing explanations are guiding the discussion – either from inbreeding caused by low populations due to overfishing or pollutants and toxins in the water leading to mutations. While these are somewhat distinct issues, the common thread between them is human disruption of the sharks’ environment.

Either way, the issue is much more likely a symptom of a bigger problem than a crisis in and of itself. If it takes the shocking image of a two-headed shark to get people discussing measures to preserve aquatic environments, this strange development might just serve as a catalyst for change.

Or, conversely, it could just lead to more tweets like this:

via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading