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Mystery of the massacred mobula rays: Just why DID dozens of these bloodied sea creatures wash up on the beach in Gaza?
Dozens of Mobula Ray fish were
mysteriously washed up on the beach in Gaza City today and carted off to
market by Palestinian fishermen.



It
was the first time the fish had been seen on the beach for six years,
according to a local video report purporting to show fisherman examining
the Rays.



The fish are of a
similar appearance to the more well-known Manta Rays, which are in the
same family, and can reach a width of up to 17ft.




Scroll down for videos





On the beach: Palestinian fishermen were pictured today with dozens of Mobula Ray fish that were washed up on the beach in Gaza City and carted off to market

On the beach: Palestinian fishermen were
pictured today with dozens of Mobula Ray fish that were washed up on the
beach in Gaza City and carted off to market














Bloody scene: The fish are of a similar appearance to the more well-known Manta Rays, which are in the same family, and can reach a width of up to 17ft

Bloody scene: The fish are of a similar
appearance to the more well-known Manta Rays, which are in the same
family, and can reach a width of up to 17ft



The
Rays can weigh more than 12 stone and sell for around five shekels
(£0.90) per pound in local markets, the Ma'an News Agency reported.

Bob
Rubin, of Santa Rosa Junior College in California, is one of the
world's leading expert on Rays, and spoke to MailOnline about the find
in Gaza.








He
said: ‘Mobulas often travel in huge schools of thousands of animals and
also leap from the water and twist in the air. Very cool indeed.



'This
observation is strange to me and unknown to me as well. I have worked
in the Gulf of California for many years where there are abundant mobula
schools and I have never seen a "mass stranding".



‘These
animals seem to have blood on the "wings" - pectoral fins - which may
have come from slapping something - boats, rocks, sand, each other?’





On the move: It was the first time the fish had been seen on the beach for six years, according to a local video report purporting to show fisherman examining the Rays

On the move: It was the first time the fish had
been seen on the beach for six years, according to a local video report
purporting to show fisherman examining the Rays





On the way to market: Palestinian fishermen transport several Mobula Ray fish that were washed up on the beach in Gaza City today

On the way to market: Palestinian fishermen
transport several Mobula Ray fish that were washed up on the beach in
Gaza City today







In the dark: A Palestinian policeman looks at stranded Mobula Rays on the Gaza beach earlier today

In the dark: A Palestinian policeman looks at stranded Mobula Rays on the Gaza beach earlier today


He
added that without seeing the fish and looking further into other
possible causes such as their stomach contents and condition of their gills,
he could not determine what might have caused the stranding.




'This
observation is strange to me and unknown to me as well. These animals
seem to have blood on the "wings" - pectoral fins - which may have come
from slapping something - boats, rocks, sand, each other'



Bob Rubin, of Santa Rosa Junior College in California


‘Large
underwater noises or electrical signals may have caused some state of
disorientation but that is only a guess on my part,’ Mr Rubin said.



Elsewhere,
mounds of starfish were pictured baking in the sun on Olango Island at
the start of their journey from sea creature to home decoration.



The
animals were plucked from the tropical waters of the Philippines and
bleached to remove their natural colour and smell before being exported.



Some
will be dyed in bright colours and others left white. They are shipped
around the world and used to decorate picture frames or brighten
bathrooms.







Elsewhere: Mounds of starfish were pictured baking in the sun on Olango Island, Philippines, at the start of their journey from sea creature to home decoration

Elsewhere: Mounds of starfish were pictured
baking in the sun on Olango Island, Philippines, at the start of their
journey from sea creature to home decoration














Hard graft: A worker sorts through piles of bleached starfish in the sun on Olango Island. They are gathered and bleached to remove their natural colour and smell

Hard graft: A worker sorts through piles of
bleached starfish in the sun on Olango Island. They are gathered and
bleached to remove their natural colour and smell



Baskets: Workers sort through a huge pile of starfish being bleached in the sun on Olango Island at the start of their journey from sea creature to home decoration

Baskets: Workers sort through a huge pile of
starfish being bleached in the sun on Olango Island at the start of
their journey from sea creature to home decoration








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