For today’s lesson in urban marine biology, let’s examine a weird-looking creature, maybe 5-feet long, that washed ashore a sandy patch under the Brooklyn Bridge on the Manhattan side of the East River this Tuesday. New Yorkers, being all-knowing nature people, quickly identified it as some kind of fish. Definitely a fish. A fish whose skin looks like patterned Italian marble. Scientific name: Fishmonstrub italiamarb.
Actually, no one knew what the hell kind of fish it was on account of being New Yorkers—sorta like the time an unidentifiable corpse washed up on the shores of Montauk or the other time an unidentifiable something showed up on the banks of the East River—but considerably less alarming because onlookers at least felt confident about categorizing it as “a fish” in this case, which is a start.
The going theory on Reddit is that it’s one of the 25 species of sturgeons, scaleless river-dwellers once so plentiful in the 19th century its eggs made America a leading producer of caviar. Though not yet confirmed by an expert, Gothamist also suggests we have a sturgeon on our hands, as does logical reasoning when comparing photos to other sturgeons. The Case of the Funky-Looking Fish: Solved! More or less!
For more “Name That Fish” fun, Gothamist tips us off to a free workshop on September 28 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, in which scientists cast a net into the East River, allowing the public to look in awe and horror at the odd things they drag to shore before they humanely release them back into the wild. Learning is the key to becoming one with nature, at least we heard them say on the Discovery Channel because we never go outside. You’ll want to RSVP to the workshop here.
Follow Lauren Beck on Twitter @heylaurenbeck.