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Bat Rays vs. Oyster Farmers

Bat rays are one of the fascinating creatures that live off of the Califonia coast. They can weigh up to 200 pounds and become the size of the hood of a car. However, a little-known fact about bat rays is that they were involved in a major controversy not too long ago. Bat rays have long been feared for their giant size or their razor-sharp barbed tail stinger, but you would be surprised to know that their most destructive weapon was their mouth.

In the early 1970s a collection of oyster farmers started to notice their farms being torn apart by a mysterious force combined with a recent influx of our winged and slimy friends, which made for a perfect storm to start mass murdering bat rays. These oyster farmers banded together to set traps and employ as many hook and line fishermen as possible to catch and kill the rays to keep them from getting to their precious oysters. After around half a million bat rays were needlessly slaughtered the government finally stepped in and found out that the reason the farmer's farms had been ravaged was due to an unusually strong tidal current stemming from an el Nino event. To this day this remains one of the most forgotten and buried environmental disasters in the history of the state.

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