Marine Biology

Mysterious Corkscrew Death Destroying Common Seal Population in Scotland

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Scotland is currently firmly engrossed in attempting to find the cause of the mysterious deaths of nearly 100 seals that have been washed up dead on its shores in recent weeks. The seals, which did not die of natural causes, washed up ashore with a single peculiar spiral wound all over their bodies. Scientists have already ruled out that the wounds could have been caused by military vessels or boats and state that no known predator could have caused such a severe and clean wound on the body with such precision. With almost every ‘logical outcome’ ruled out, exactly what could be causing the brutal deaths of these beautiful creatures?

As of Thursday, August 19th, 2010, the death toll of the seals, which has been dubbed ‘Corkscrew Death’ until a suitable cause has been established, has risen dramatically. 50 deaths have been recorded on the North Norfolk coast, 18 deaths have been recorded on St. Andrews Bay and Firth of Forth and an added 7 deaths have been recorded on Firth of Tay. The most bewildering aspect of each of these deaths is the fact that every recorded seal death has been reported as the peculiar ‘Corkscrew Death’. Many however have been so badly mutilated to provide any use to scientists working on finding out the cause.

Many possible ‘logical’ explanations have been explored including that sharks may be responsible for the attacks having had their feeding habits forcibly changed due to overfishing. However, shark attacks could simply not be responsible for the ‘Corkscrew Deaths’ as for one, sharks would leave tooth marks, none of which are seen in any of the seals and for two, sharks have a tendency to be messy and ravenous eaters whereas the seals that died of ‘Corkscrew Death’ had wounds so precise that no known animal could have caused it.

So exactly what could be causing such brutal deaths that will likely ravish and brutalize the seal population on Scotland in the coming months? With so many theories explored and no possible explanation being found, there are still many options that could be explored. A previously unknown vessel could be the cause of such deaths, perhaps a secret military vessel being tested off-shore, or illegal fishing or poaching vessels attempting to fish without the consent of the Scottish Government. While it is likely many other radical theories will be revealed in the next few days, the exact cause of the mysterious ‘Corkscrew Death’ that is dominating the seal population currently remains to be seen.

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