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Biggest Oregon Coast News Stories of 2017: Eclipse, Oddities, Hidden Shipwreck

Published 01/10/2018 at 5:40 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Biggest Oregon Coast News Stories of 2017: Eclipse, Oddities, Hidden Shipwreck

(Oregon Coast) – In many ways, this year on the Oregon coast was not that eventful. Not like 2016, when a storm ripped through a condo in Rockaway Beach, a tornado hit two coastal towns and some odd mysteries in the way of beach finds really lingered.

2017 had its share of wild occurrences, however, and certainly the great eclipse towered over just about all news stories about the beaches.

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That topped the headlines at Oregon Coast Beach Connection as well, with numerous predictions of traffic insanity and chaos on the coast that never materialized. The worst traffic turned out to be in eastern Oregon. In fact, the deluge of dire road condition warnings seemed to scare people away from the beaches, and most businesses in the region complained of the event being an abnormally dead few days.

The sheer number of articles Oregon Coast Beach Connection posted on the subject are too numerous to display here, but one of the largest was the recap of the eclipse, complete with video: Eclipse Impressions from Oregon, the Coast in Pics, Video, Words.

Indeed, the year started off with the two biggest stories of the year, in terms of reader interest and page hits.

January kicked off with some extremely ancient sights reemerging: Ghost Forests and Agate Beds Abound on Oregon Coast. “The central Oregon coast is seeing a lot of old, old faces pop up: older than 2,000 years old. That and a ton of agate-hunting possibilities.”

The biggest: so-called “ghost forests,” stumps from trees anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 years old that were popping up like daisies in areas around Cannon Beach, Newport, Seal Rock and more.

Photo courtesy Rachel Sip

In February came Rare, Ghostly Shipwreck Emerges Again on Oregon Coast. Rockaway Beach had some unusually destructive waves earlier this winter, which knocked around cars and even broke into a condo unit. So it's no surprise an old and ghostly sight returned to this north Oregon coast town: the rarely-seen wreck of the Emily G. Reed.

Some minor earthquakes rattled off the coast a few times, and each one of these stories scored high with page hits.

Weird nature finds also topped the headlines, and there were quite a few this year.

Photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium

In May there was Almost-Exploding Minke Whale Washes Up Near N. Oregon Coast Border, where a particularly bloated and disgusting-smelling corpse of a whale made landfall.

October saw a nice but brief rush of dragonflies along with wacky little jellyfish: Oregon Coast Weather Brings Curiosities: Dragonflies, Bubble-like Jellyfish. If you were walking the beaches that weekend, you may have noticed small bubbles in the sand. These are a type of jellyfish known as the gooseberry – or comb jelly (Pleurobrachia bachei).

Photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium

Another enormous story with huge reader intrest was Bizarre Finds on Oregon Coast: Pyrosomes, Dolphin, Deformed Velella, Freaky Jellies back in November. It was insanely early to find velella velella and pyrosomes, but even more notable were the strangely misshapen velella. Mutations are one possibility, but just as likely is the fact velella are colonial hydrozoids and this is a facet of their early development.

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A slightly comical big hit: in June came Central Oregon Coast's Seal Rock Has a Bear Feeding Problem. ODFW had to send out a warning that locals should watch their garbage cans and make them inaccessible to any Yogi Bear-types.

The rather new development in recent years of pyrosomes has been a true mystery for scientists, but one researcher may have a clearer answer: Gobs of Pyrosomes Hit Oregon Coast - Scientists Mystified, But There's a Theory.

Other extremely popular articles this year included a few on historical aspects of the beach towns (see the History section for all of these). Some of the general travel guides also snagged sizable interest. Still among the most popular even now is the Cape Kiwanda, Oregon Coast: Complete Travel Guide, Info.

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