The man behind the video, Brandon Ferguson, had gone to Maunganui Bluff Beach on the country’s North Island with plans to collect some mussels for a relaxing meal with his family.
“I’m local to the area so I’m always out on ‘the coast’ gathering food for the family,” he explained. “That day I was out with friends and family while they were fishing. We waited for the tide to turn so we could gather mussels.”
However, Ferguson and his group quickly realized that there was something very wrong when they came across hundreds of thousands of mussels that were tight-lipped and tinged with green.
“It smelled like dead rotting seafood,” Ferguson described. “Some of the mussels were empty, some of them were dead… Some were just floating around in the tide.”
Ferguson said that the number of mussels that had been cooked was absolutely enormous.
“There were well over 500,000 mussels and shells littering the coastline,” he said, posting a video on Facebook to spread the word of the terrifying phenomenon.
Though Ferguson said that he had never seen mussels in such condition before, he confessed that this not the first time that sea creatures had washed up onto the shore after showing signs of being cooked. He had previously seen dead shellfish, and the New Zealander claimed that the rising temperatures in the ocean were to blame for the phenomenon.
“It has happened in the past due to warm water temperatures, low mid-day tides, and high pressures,” he said.
Scientists have confirmed that the water around New Zealand — and the world at large — is getting hotter, with reports claiming that overall sea-surface temperatures have grown between 0.1 and 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade.
However, there have recently been freak pockets of extremely hot water around the island nation that have climate experts confused and alarmed. As was covered by Science Alert, an area in the southern region of the country had waters rising by an incredible 10 degrees Fahrenheit earlier this January.
“It’s the biggest patch of above-average warming on the planet right now,” said James Renwick, a scientist at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.
“I don’t have an explanation for it,” he added.
Though the area with the hot water pocket is south of Maunganui Bluff Beach, it is not known if the water on the north shore has been affected from similar oceanic activity.
Meanwhile, mussels aren’t the only creatures to be feeling the effects of climate change. As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, polar bears are becoming thinner and not procreating as much due to the effects of melting sea ice.