Meanwhile in Vancouver: Record Heat Cooks Mussels Alive, Beachside Seafood Experience With Guaranteed Food Poisoning Finally Not So Pricey

Record heat has been swallowing parts of the world whole the past few weeks, (including a 118-degree day in Siberia and two plus-130-degree days in Death Valley). But one of the craziest stories to come out of this unprecedented heatwave is the seafood experience in Vancouver, British Columbia.

As Canadians headed to the beach to escape rising temperatures, a strange yet familiar smell invaded their nostrils. Much like a Red Lobster buffet, it was the slightly sweet, slightly putrid smell of overbaked seafood.

“The first thing I noticed as I was walking down to the beach was that it smelled quite terrible,” Alyssa Gehman, a student of marine ecology said upon her arrival at Kitsilano beach. “There was a rotting, baking shellfish smell.”

It was open season for not-so-pricey shellfish lovers everywhere – the beach littered with thousands of dead mussels who had baked to death in the record heat.

“I also saw dead crabs floating by,” Gehman added. “And that was really sad to me, and it was also indicative that there’s likely many animals that were also killed during this heatwave event.”

While mussels are unquestionably delicious, they are also the cornerstone of any shoreline habitat. One mussel can clean up to six gallons of seawater per day, keeping the beach water clean and clear for people and plantlife alike. They’re also a source of food for dozens of seafaring creatures, and without their presence, the entire ecosystem collapses.

According to marine ecologist Christopher Harley, “[Mussels] can survive temperatures that are pretty similar to the same temperatures humans can survive, up to a little over 100 degrees. But we were measuring temperatures on the shore above 120, so it was much hotter than anything they could handle.”

In other words, if global temperatures continue to rise, there won’t be much time left to stuff our faces on free seafood before heatstroke kicks in for good. Meaning humans need to act now before it’s too late and the only mussels left will be overpriced luxury items at posh waterfront eateries.

Cover Photo: mussels dennisvdw (Getty Images)

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