Far from being a monster or a mermaid, the manatee is a wonderfully gentle marine mammal. Its bulkiness and placid demeanor have earned it the nickname “sea cow.” Although efforts have been made to protect them, they are still an endangered species.
The morning after a violent storm hit Volusia County, Florida, Scott McCormick headed out to the dock by the St. John’s River to bail water out of the family boat. Each time he tossed a bucket of water into the river, the surface would explode as if some sort of sea monster was thrashing around. As his wife Maria described it, “My husband was bailing water out of our boat after a huge storm. Every time he threw the water we saw splashes in the water. I happened to be recording on one of the tosses and we saw huge splashes of water everywhere. We both looked at each other and said ‘I will never swim in there again!'”
They posted a video of Scott grinning while summoning the “sea monster” on the internet. There was a bit of an uproar: the “sea monster” was actually a large group of manatees!
The visual effect was certainly striking and the manatees were surely just annoyed rather than harmed. But unfortunately for the McCormicks, there are some very strict laws on the books regarding marine mammals. The couple are going to be facing some legal difficulties. So let this serve as a reminder that you can look at marine mammals and that’s about it. In the long run, this is in the best interest of both people and vulnerable creatures like manatees.
Check out the video and let us know what you think in the Facebook comments. Was this just some harmless fun, an outrageous violation of marine mammal protection laws, or something in between? Be sure to like and share, too!