Riders on the Queens-bound N train in New York City were surprised when they spotted a dead shark on the floor of a subway car early Wednesday morning.
"I board a car that's not terribly full and as soon as I enter, a stench hits my nose," shares Mary M. in a Gothamist story. "It's not the typical urine/trash smell, it's...fishy? I look down to the end of the car to see a dead shark on the floor. I think I stood there for a good minute just staring, thinking 'Is this for real?! Oh come ON, NYC!'
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"One of my fellow passengers remarked 'I've been riding the subway for 15 years, and this is the weirdest thing I've seen. And I've seen EVERYTHING.' The train filled as we made our way to Astoria, every new passenger was getting excited about it. Once we got to Queensboro Plaza, an MTA employee made all of us move to another car."
After a quick joke or two - “Live sharks are wrangled by Shark Maintainer IIs” - an MTA spokesman confirmed that the shark was indeed real. Buzzfeed reports:
"The conductor on this N train reported the shark to the control center at 12:34 am. The conductor moved everyone out of the car at Queensboro Plaza, and when the train arrived at the end of the line at Ditmars Boulevard, a Train Service Supervisor placed the dead shark in a garbage bag and disposed of it in the trash. The Road Car Inspector at Ditmars made sure the car was clean and returned it to normal service."
Queue the Shark Week jokes: as the story continues to make the rounds online, many can't help but notice the timing of such a discovery. Juan D. Cano, a rider who took several of photos of the shark posing with a few props, had initially thought the discovery was a brazen stunt to promote The Discovery Channel's annual seven-day shark themed event.
"It's Shark Week and this is a DISGUSTINGLY TERRIBLE BUT GOOD Promotion from Discovery Channel," he theorized in Gothamist.
But Discovery, saddened by the dead shark's alleged connection to Shark Week, was quick to discredit the notion.
"Shark Week is all about conservation, so it deeply saddens us that someone would think that this was funny or in any way connected to our celebration of sharks."