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更新时间:2017-9-21 11:28:32 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

What Hurricanes Can Dredge Up: Coffins, Canoes and Creatures

Jarring things can happen when the sea comes crashing into human habitats.


After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma battered Texas, the Caribbean and Florida, some memorable characters, stories of tragedy and moments of grace emerged from the wreckage.


The storms also left behind several unexpected mementos.


Some were surprising, like the old — and possibly historically significant — wooden canoe that washed ashore not far from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Some were macabre, like the dozens of coffins that were nudged aboveground in Texas. And some, like the many animals wrenched from their habitats or left stranded by receding tides, were alive.


An old boat resurfaces


On Sept. 11, Randy Lathrop was riding his bike near the shore in Cocoa, Fla. — an early morning habit for him — when he came upon something strange.

9月11日,兰迪·莱思罗普(Randy Lathrop)在佛罗里达州可可海岸附近骑自行车时——那是他清晨的一个习惯——看见了一个奇怪的东西。

To an untrained eye, it might have looked like a large piece of driftwood. But Mr. Lathrop, a photographer and a history buff, homed in on a few unusual features.


“I was kind of taken aback,” he said. “I was like, ‘Well, this can’t be.’”


It was a dugout canoe, of the type that humans have carved from trees since ancient times. This one was made of cypress wood and it featured a seat and some square iron nails.


Mr. Lathrop found a neighbor with a truck and lugged the waterlogged canoe — he estimated it weighed several hundred pounds — onto the truck bed. It is now being stored in a safe place.


The boat could be hundreds of years old, Mr. Lathrop said, though he added that he had no way to know for sure. He has alerted state authorities, who are working to learn the canoe’s origins.


“It is Florida state law that you should report this type of thing, and these items do belong to the people of the State of Florida,” he said, adding that with any luck, the canoe would be displayed at a museum.


A creature with teeth


Something far less appealing washed up in Harvey’s wake on the shores of Galveston Bay in Texas City, Tex.


Preeti Desai, a social media manager at the National Audubon Society, was documenting the organization’s efforts to assess the hurricane’s effect on birds in the area on Sept. 6 when she came across a baffling animal.

9月6日,美国奥杜邦学会(National Audubon Society)在评估哈维飓风对该地区鸟类影响,学会的社交媒体经理普里蒂·德赛(Preeti Desai)在记录评估过程时看见了一个令人困惑的动物。

It was dead, brown, bloated and fanged.


Ms. Desai, an amateur photographer, took a picture and posted it to Twitter, seeking identification help from followers with taxonomical bona fides.


The response was swift. Several experts suggested the creature could be a fangtooth snake-eel, a fish native to the area that tends to hide in underwater burrows but darts out to snatch fish and crustaceans, while others on social media reacted with horror and called it a monster.


Ms. Desai estimated that it was only three or four feet long, including its tail, and was not monstrous at all.


“This isn’t scary. It’s just a part of nature,” she said, adding that she was glad the picture drew such interest. “My hope is that at least there are some people who get more curious about nature and the outside world.”


Coffins can float away


In Texas, Hurricane Harvey paid no respect to those who were meant to be resting in peace.


Coffins buried in shallow graves are vulnerable to floods, said Lashon Proctor, who owns Proctor’s Mortuary in Beaumont, Tex. Sometimes they inch up, rising above the ground, and sometimes even float away.

德克萨斯州博蒙特普罗克特殡仪馆(Proctor’s Mortuary)馆长拉桑·普罗克特(Lashon Proctor)表示,埋在浅墓地里的灵柩容易遭到洪水冲击。有的会浮起来,升到地面上,甚至被冲走。

“There’s always the possibility of them coming up,” Mr. Proctor said. “Of course, we don’t want to deal with that, and we don’t want that to happen. But it does.”


At small, remote or privately owned cemeteries, burial regulations are often less strict and coffins in shallow graves can be dislocated by storms. Over the years, hundreds have been displaced by Hurricanes Matthew, Katrina, Rita and others.


After Harvey, it happened to dozens of graves in Texas, Mr. Proctor said. He said his company worked with gravediggers to quickly rebury dozens of exposed coffins in cities and towns along Interstate 10, which runs through Beaumont.


Turtles pushed back, and then set forth


Plenty of living things, too, were displaced by the storms.


In Florida, hundreds upon hundreds of young loggerhead and green turtles — both protected species — were pushed ashore by Irma. Melanie Stadler, the sea turtle program coordinator at the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Fla., said its turtle healing center took in just over 1,500 turtles that were found on Florida’s eastern coast.

在佛罗里达州,成百上千只年幼的红海龟和绿海龟被飓风“厄玛”冲到了岸上。它们都是受保护的物种。佛罗里达州墨尔本布里瓦德公园(Brevard Zoo)的海龟项目协调人梅拉妮·斯塔德勒(Melanie Stadler)表示,那里的海龟疗养中心接收了1500多只在佛罗里达东海岸发现的海龟。

They were in good shape, she said (past hurricanes have brought in younger, sicklier bunches) and the zoo kept them fed until the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission helped send them back to the ocean — specifically, to the beds of algae where young turtles can find food and shelter.

她说,那些海龟的状况良好(过去的飓风曾带来更年幼、虚弱的海龟),该公园会喂养它们,直至佛罗里达鱼类和野生动物保护委员会(Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)帮忙把它们送回大海,尤其要送到水藻床上,年幼的海龟能在那里找到食物和藏身之处。

Ms. Stadler said the proper protocol for people who find protected species of turtles washed ashore was to alert the commission or the county’s Sea Turtle Preservation Society. After Irma, there were also designated sites where people could leave the turtles for the zoo and other conservationist organizations to pick up.

斯塔德勒表示,按照规定,人们找到冲上岸的受保护海龟后,应该通知该委员会或美国海龟保护协会(Sea Turtle Preservation Society)。飓风“艾玛”过后,人们还可以把海龟放在一些指定区域,以便该动物园和其他保护组织收集。

“Fortunately there are so many people in Florida that care so much about turtles,” Ms. Stadler said. “When they see one, they forget about protocol and they just call whoever they know who takes care of turtles.”