Sea Urchin Mystery Death Wave Hits Indian Ocean

sea urchin mystery death wave hits indian ocean.jpg Science

In a perplexing turn of events, thousands of sea urchins have been found dead, washed up on the shores of a French island in the Indian Ocean. According to French news outlet Le Parisien, an estimated 5,000 sea urchins have been discovered on the western side of Reunion Island in the Seychelles since July. This baffling occurrence has left scientists scrambling for explanations, with the prime suspect being a parasite known to have instigated similar mass die-offs in the past.

Biologist Jean-Pascal Quod suggests the culprit could be a parasite called a philaster, recently detected on the island for the first time. While this is currently the most probable hypothesis, Quod emphasizes the need for further molecular biology work to confirm the philaster’s role in these mass sea urchin deaths. This parasite, which is known to compromise the sea urchin’s immune system, has been linked to significant die-offs in other parts of the world, including the Caribbean and off the coast of Israel in the Mediterranean.

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