It’s Shark Week, and there has certainly been quite a lot of unexpected news on that front. Yesterday, subway passengers who were doubtlessly accustomed to bizarre human behavior were faced with a more foreign oddity: a small dead shark was lying underneath the seats of a Queens-bound N train. The shark managed to ride the train for the duration of at least nine stops before finally being removed by MTA employees at Queensboro Plaza.
There is no information of yet indicating how the shark got there, but it probably wasn’t that hard to aquire. The shark looked like a 1.5-foot dogfish, one of the most populous types of shark in the world, and consequently one of the types of sharks most exploited by humans–for food, fertilizer, its hide, pet food, and liver oil. Whoever left the shark behind could have easily caught it in the waters off of Long Island, where dogfish are so common that they’re often referred to as “junk fish” and thrown overboard.
Obviously, passengers got excited, and the shark was subjected to a few Instagram photos before MTA employees moved the passengers in the shark’s car to another car. One stand-up citizen stuck a MetroCard under the dead fish’s fin “just in case it needed to transfer,” put a cigarette under his head, and placed a RedBull within easy reaching distance. “I do think it’s disrespectful to do certain things to dead shark corpses,” he clarified. “But adding a MetroCard under its fin is not disrespectful.” The man sent Gothamist 75 photographs of the shark adorned with various props, subjected to no disrespect whatsoever.
This is the second bizarre shark incident to occur this week. A dead 5-foot shark was found blocking the door of a pub in Nantucket on August 1st. And yesterday’s incident wasn’t the first time sharks have made appearances on New York subways; last year, a man on the J train tried to sell a small shark that he was keeping in a disposable cooler. Unsurprisingly, he was unable to sell it for the $100 asking price. The shark-peddler claimed that he had caught his ware off of Coney Island after it had “bit him in the ass.”
Popular speculation says that this week’s subway shark was strategically placed there to promote Shark Week, which began on August 4th. Hard to believe since the Discovery Channel places so much emphasis on saving endangered sharks. Another theory says that somebody got a little too passionate about Sharknado, SyFy’s recent made-for-TV movie about tornadoes dropping hungry sharks onto Los Angeles.
So, is shark-dropping (besides by sharknadoes) trending? We hope not. It’s inhumane, to start with, and it’s more than a little disturbing as a practical joke. We’re also not so sure that the subway needs fishy notes added to its symphony of questionable smells. If the dead shark abandonment does continue here, we can at least rest assured that next time, New Yorkers won’t be phased.