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Its Time To Give Stingrays Another Chance

Certain things in life always carry a stigma no matter how much logic suggests they shouldn't otherwise.  Its been a long time and hundreds of millions of people have come and went that did nothing wrong, but when I hear about something in Germany, there's still a little mini inkling in the depths of your head where you remember a weird time in history when some unforgivable shit went down.  All logic says that almost anything going on nowadays probably has absolutely nothing to do with the 1940's, but you can't say that it doesn't cross your mind at ALL, even in the teeny tiny back of your head.  It may not have a single effect on day to day life in 2020, but its a fleeting thought you definitely DON'T get when you think about Iceland or a place where 6 million people didn't get murdered.  To be fair, I'm sure there's a shitload of places on the map that feel some pretty negative feelings towards the good old U S of A as well, I would guess its a universal feeling amongst humans to have weird thoughts about places you don't know much about.

The same way one individual generation may have put a stigma on every other generation of a country, one individual of a species can ruin it for millions of other animals of the same species.  There is no greater example than the stingray that killed Steve Irwin off Port Douglas, Australia in 2006.  The odds are, anyone in the world who interacts with animals LOVES Steve Irwin, and anyone who loves Steve Irwin is probably pretty resentful of the creature that caused his death.

If you don't believe me, look at the comments or reactions to any single video of a Stingray on the internet even today in 2020!  The only thing most people know about Stingrays is that they killed Steve Irwin!  I posted a video of a cool little baby Southern Stingray and get messages of "you should have killed that thing for Steve Irwin"... not nice!

Steve Irwin is an all-time legendary human for a reason, he had a level of passion and love for animals that was unbelievably infectious through any screen, headphone, or book.  It was so infectious that it changed the course of people's lives, like MINE!  So if anyone in the world would be advocating to give Stingrays a clean slate, it would be The Crocodile Hunter himself.  One stingray messed up BIG TIME.  I have no doubt that the other stingrays were immediately like "NOOO DUDE WHY DID YOU DO THAT!"  This was a rogue agent.  He got scared, reacted to a sudden presence above him, and ruined the goodwill that millions of years of stingrays had built up in 10 seconds.  Now we gotta deal with a bad case of prejudice against the lesser famous forms of Elasmobranches. 

Its April 27th, 2020 and its time for a new day!  Stingrays are amazing animals who really just want to be left alone and don't even want to be seen at all.  If it were up to them they would be completely invisible!

Stingrays are so closely related to sharks, which are pretty fairly regarded as "cool as shit" and have some crazy adaptations.  The "Spiracles" on top of their head behind the eyes allow them to breathe even when they are submerged in the sand.  This way, they can keep hiding and breathing for as long as they need to hunt or escape an attacker!  The "barb" on their tail is a goddamn steak knife that they can shove into the mouth of anyone trying to eat them.  They definitely have a lot of predators, such as big Hammerhead or Tiger Sharks, but even if these gargantuan creatures DO eat them for dinner, they are going to make them pay on the way out with an extremely painful stab wound.

They also can be friendly!

Like the rogue Blues fan who conducted the vicious towel whipping ambush attack on my boss during the Stanley Cup Final, don't let one bad egg spoil everything for everybody!  The next time you come across a stingray, whether it be in real life or on the internet, try to keep an open mind and judge that stingray only by its own actions.  We have to turn the page guys.  Its time.  You have to be the change you want to see in the world and that means taking a deep breath and maybe just showing stingrays a little love on the internet some time.  Try it, it feels nice.