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Sea Otter, Orcas, Possible Space Debris, Unusual Weather: Wild Week on Oregon Coast

Published 04/10/21 at 6:25 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Sea Otter, Orcas, Possible Space Debris, Unusual Weather: Wild Week on Oregon Coast

(Oregon Coast) – This past week has been an eventful one for the Oregon coast, with things not just washing up but falling from the sky – or so it seems. (Above: Oceanside in spring - the weird weather of this time of year is finally explained)

Among the startling bits starting off the week was the discovery of a lone sea otter in the surf at Manzanita. Seaside Aquarium responded to the issue on April 5, finding the sea otter in considerable distress with some sort of neurological disorder.

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Sea otters do not hang out on land much, so this was an extraordinary case that indicated something was indeed very wrong. It was also unusual because the species was hunted to extinction along the Oregon coast over 100 years ago.

One of the more disturbing incidences of social media rumors erupted after the story broke, with many only reading the headline and not the actual article, as large numbers of uniformed people then argued online that sea otters were indeed still around. Instead, social media users simply proclaimed a better knowledge of the subject and said they had seen sea otters for years on the coast.

In actuality they had been seeing river otters, which do hang out on rocks and land as well as the ocean. Full story: Depleted on Oregon Coast, Live Sea Otter Found | What That Means 

Photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium

One of the lesser-known areas of Oregon and Washington coast weather came to light this week, as Oregon Coast Beach Connection became the first media in Oregon to delve into why coastal weather is so erratic in the spring.

It's a process no one understands well, at least in the public. It's a complex answer, however, coming down to how unstable air masses intermingle with the greater-moisture of spring and how those masses become unstable in the first place. Full story Why Spring Weather is So Erratic on Oregon / Washington Coast: Meteorologist Explains

Photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium

Orcas – or Killer whales – are now on the agenda of many coastal visitors as finally the giant beasts have been spotted. They were first reported in Oceanside on April 6.

Killer whales always how up around April to eat the baby gray whales that are still migrating north with their parents and pods. They are very difficult to spot as they're not seen often, but they are definitely something to keep a look out for as you're moving around the southern Oregon coast up through to the northern edges of Oregon. Full story They're Baaack: Finally, Orcas Spotted on Oregon Coast | New Info Emerges

Photo courtesy Lincoln County Sheriff's

A truly unusual find was made in Waldport at the end of the week as Lincoln County Sheriff's responded to reports of what appears to be space debris. SpaceX has not confirmed it is actually from one of their crafts, but it is of the same material and configuration as the piece of rocket helium container found in eastern Washington at the beginning of the month.

It's a good possibility if not a likelihood it's from the same SpaceX rocket that burned up in the atmosphere in late March, creating a massive and alarming light show over the northwest. Full story Apparent SpaceX Rocket Debris Found on Oregon Coast

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Bandon's Face Rock, courtesy Manuela Durson

Courtesy Seaside Aquarium: Rarity on Oregon Coast Beaches, Sevengill Shark Washes Up at Gearhart 

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