Shark Week Starts Sunday, but Its Been Shark and Now Tornado Summer on Cape Cod

Whoaaa!  Check out the video above taken off Cape Cod this week.  Sharks are have frequented the Cape in the past, but this year, according to the local TV station KSBW8, there has been a marked increase in sightings and they are coming closer to humans.  Interestingly, the Boston Globe reported yesterday that those same sharks are rarely sighted in Rhode Island.

Why This Matters:  Shark attacks of humans are rare, and as we have often emphasized, humans are more dangerous to sharks than the other way around.  We love the way these kids react in the video — with wonder and amazement rather than fear or a desire to conquer.  The fact that top predators like sharks are more evident along the Atlantic coast is a good sign for these coastal ecosystems.  Sharks and most of their food sources have been protected under federal laws like the Endangered Species Act for a couple of decades and these laws are apparently working.

Sharks Spotted at the Cape

  • According to KSBW8, during one week at the end of June, researchers spotted 12 great white sharks in the vicinity of Cape Cod Bay.
  • Then, just last week, Head of the Meadow Beach on the Cape was ordered closed to swimmers after several sharks were photographed swimming close to shore, CNN affiliate WHDH reported.
  • Shark researchers say that the sharks tend to head up to Cape Cod rather than frequenting Rhode Island’s coast because there are aren’t enough seals in the waters off Rhode Island to cause the sharks to linger there.
  • But that has not stopped the public from being afraid — on July 3, Rhode Island state officials decided to limit swimming at two beach parks in Narragansett when a swimmer and a lifeguard claimed to see a “fin” cutting through the water — though it was likely a case of mistaken identity.
  • According to The Globe, Rhode Island hasn’t had a confirmed fatal shark attack since August of1895

Tornado Too — But No Sharknado

Yesterday a terrible storm roared across Cape Cod leaving tens of thousands of people after the National Weather Service says an EF -1 tornado touched down in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts.

  • Authorities in several towns on Cape Cod late yesterday were warning residents to stay in their homes because extensive damage from downed wires and trees made roads impassable.

Up Next

Baby Sharks Enfeebled by Warming Ocean Waters

Baby Sharks Enfeebled by Warming Ocean Waters


by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer A new study suggests that baby sharks are being born tiny, tired, and malnourished as a result of rising temperatures in the ocean. Scientists analyzed the effects of warming waters on young epaulette sharks — a small, egg-laying species that lives in the Great Barrier Reef. These researchers examined […]

Continue Reading 423 words

Two San Diego Zoo Gorillas Contract COVID-19; Mink Farms Hit Hard By the Virus

Last week, two gorillas at the San Diego Zoo were infected with COVID-19. An asymptomatic zoo staff member transmitted the disease to them.  So far they are fine.

Why this Matters: The virus can mutate in animals and spread back to humans, producing newer —and potentially deadlier—variants of COVID-19, though this is rare.

Continue Reading 512 words
The Lonely Existence of the Last Two Northern White Rhinos

The Lonely Existence of the Last Two Northern White Rhinos

In a story for the New York Times, Sam Anderson documents the lonely lives of the two beautiful creatures and details what we lose when a species vanishes before one’s eyes — it brings gravity to the extinction process that numbers and statistics just can’t.

Why This Matters: In 2019, the United Nations released a report detailing accelerating extinction rates.

Continue Reading 485 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.