Stingrays to humans: Bring it on

Steve Schirra

The stingrays are revolting!

It all began last month when Australia’s beloved animal enthusiast, Steve Irwin, died from screwing with the wrong stingray. Irwin was filming a segment for the television show, “The Ocean’s Deadliest,” when he grappled with a stingray and learned the unfortunate way that stingrays are the toughest aquatic animals.

In a related incident, another stingray attacked an 81-year-old man off the coast of Florida last week. The stingray actually leaped from the ocean waters into the man’s boat before ending the struggle with an Irwin-esque barb to the heart.

Still, experts are coming forward and insisting, despite recent news coverage, that the occurrence of killer stingrays is not common.

“I think it’s got to be about the rarest thing I’ve ever heard of,” James Tweddell, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin, told the Detroit News. “It would have to be a very unusual situation and a sort of conspiracy of bad luck on the part of both the victim and the stingray to end up with this kind of injury.”

Oh, don’t be fooled, Dr. Tweddell. The stingrays know exactly what they are doing. They are ticked off! And now they’re coming after us.

I have a few hypotheses about why the stingrays are suddenly on the attack. For one, before Steve Irwin died, I don’t think people gave the stingrays enough respect. Sure, with the Jaws movies and all those killer shark shows on Animal Planet, people are petrified a big ol’ shark will chomp their legs off while they’re swimming – but they are not really that afraid of the stingrays. Stingrays could be jealous of the sharks’ reputation and want a piece of the action.

The stingrays could have also been acting out of revenge. Australian officials have reported a wave of stingray murders and mutilations believed to be prompted by Irwin’s death. In the week after he died, at least 10 stingrays were found dead or with their tails slashed off on the shores of eastern Australia.

A stingray kills one guy and suddenly everyone freaks out on them. I think the rest of the stingray community is mourning and has decided to take out all humans they can find in honor of their fallen comrades.

Most likely, the stingrays are upset people are ruining their habitat through global warming. According to The Environmental Defense, the climate change we have caused led the temperature of tropical ocean waters to rise nearly two degrees over the last century. This is 30 times hotter than the temperature change in the atmosphere.

Unless we stop it with our supersized vehicular monstrosities, our soot-spewing factories and our gas, gas, gas, stingrays will boil to death in the ocean. No wonder they take out their anger on us.

But it’s not Steve Irwin and a random elderly man they should attack. Stingrays should point their barbs at an oil company CEO the next time he is cruising around on his yacht.

Watch out!

Erin Roof is a senior magazine journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Like Art Brut, modern art makes her “want to rock out.” Contact her at [email protected].