When It Comes To Alleged Prophecy, Life In The Ocean May Be Powerful Indication
As floods inundate Europe, and hurricanes roil the ocean, as there are quakes and wildfires -- as Central America gets hit with all barrels (floods, wind, quakes, even a volcano) -- we know that it is rock-and-rolling out there and as we seek to follow Christ's admonition to watch the "signs of the times" we wonder about more esoteric indications.
Peculiar is what is happening to fish. Here we may have a real sign. And, at times, it is jarring.
Divers and anglers insist that a massive dead zone is lurking in the waters of the Pinellas County Coast in Florida, notes the St. Petersburg Times -- where two years ago a mysterious stretch of "black water" mystified scientists.
What divers have found is an underwater graveyard of putrefying remains twenty miles offshore, where, it seems, a "red tide" has been suffocating sea life at an unprecedented rate, perhaps due to the change in climate and pollution. Perhaps too for more esoteric reasons.
"It looked like a nuclear holocaust," one diver, Mike Miller, said after diving in the Gulf of Mexico off Tampa a month or two ago. "From the top to the bottom, there was nothing alive."
It wouldn't be so alarming if it were an isolated event, but right after that came reports from the other side of the country. The Pacific off Oregon has experienced a die-off of birds, declining fisheries, and wildly fluctuating conditions in the past few months, and has set the stage for another "dead zone," according to experts at Oregon State University.
As Science Daily adds, this is the third year in the past four that has demonstrated significantly unusual ocean events -- a period unlike any on record.
The events have not all been the same. This year's oceanic behavior is particularly bizarre, and there is no proof for what is causing it.
From California have come accounts of strange and massive migrations of sea creatures -- not just one species, but dozens of different kinds grouped together and so thick for miles that at times swimmers had trouble getting into the water.
Meanwhile, in the few places on the British Columbia where sockeye salmon fishing is allowed, boats came back empty or near-empty last summer, as the annual sockeye run failed to materialize.
"On the Fraser River, 11 million salmon were predicted to return, but the peak last weekend saw about 100,000 fish," said a report from there.
According to scientists, sixty percent of the coral surrounding the eastern U.S. is dying (portending more fish kills), and in the past few months scientists have raised alarm about the plummeting number of sharks.
"Dozens of biologists believe the seas have reached a tipping point, with scores of species of ocean-dwelling fish, birds, and mammals edging towards extinction," noted The Washington Post recently. "In the past 300 years, researchers have documented the global extinction of just 21 marine species — and 16 of those extinctions occurred since 1972. Since the 1700s, another 112 species have died out in particular regions, and that trend, too, has accelerated since the mid-1960s: Nearly two dozen shark species are on the brink of disappearing, according to the World Conservation Union."
Huge dead groupers. Fish with tumors. Dead sea turtles. Scientists estimate that only nine percent of ocean fish are not currently under biological stress. Nature is clearly telling us something.
Is it like in Scripture? "The fish that are in the Nile will die, and the Nile will become foul, and the Egyptians will find difficulty in drinking water from the Nile," warned God in Exodus 7:18.
In New England, the shellfish industry has taken a big hit and cod are nearly gone. Fishermen often come back to the shores of Nova Scotia empty-handed.
In a list that is too long to include, marine biologists are also seeing mysterious and disturbing things in the Pacific such as higher water temperatures, lots of dead birds on the beaches, and perhaps most worrisome, very little plankton -- the tiny organisms that are a vital link in the ocean food chain. Some chastisements we create with our own hands.
Nor is it confined to the waters. Odd behavior has been reported in creatures of all kinds. "We have noticed an increasing number of stories where animals have been doing strange things from beaching themselves to seeking hibernation months early," notes one observer. "An example is out of Arkansas, involving hibernating copperheads -- in August!"
Others write of animals that seem disoriented. Roaming oddly. Acting weirdly. In Turkey, 450 sheep jumped to their deaths. Before earthquakes, animals get skittish. Why are they skittish now?
“Animals are God’s creatures," says the Catechism. "He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless Him and give Him glory."
In Revelation, of course, there is the event in which all the sea animals are killed (16:3), but that was in one huge singular event. What we are seeing is more progressive.
John Paul II reminded people that all living beings, including animals, came into being because of the “breath” of God. Therefore, they may figure into prophecy and have a role we may have largely forgotten. We know what a big fish had to say in Jonah's time! It was also a fish that Christ pointed to as a sign when in its mouth they found a coin. The oils from a fish figured into the Archangel Gabriel's healing. Jesus showed where to cast down nets for a plentiful catch and now we see that the catch is no longer plentiful.
[see also: Strange signs in nature, including 'miasma' in the air]
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