The Solar Eclipse Had Some Really Weird Effects On Nature and Here's What It Means
Kylie Perry August 30th 2017 Science
It's easy to get caught up in your own thing and be oblivious to the world around you. We are, by nature, egocentric creatures. What's even more interesting is that people, as a group, can manage to lose sight of the world around us when focused on something. Take the recent solar eclipse, for example. Most of us were focused on eclipse parties or buying our glasses to safely stare are the sun. In the meantime, we didn't stop to think that we weren't the only ones watching.
Mother Nature was paying attention
In addition to the thousands of MENSA candidates who risked permanent damage to their eyesight by ignoring the warnings of the scientific community (we're looking at you, President Trump), plants and animals were also affected by the Great American eclipse. Some of the effects were temporary, minimal or mildly interesting, but some of them were greater and may have a lasting impact.
On the smaller scale, certain flowers closed. Yes, riveting, we know. It's actually fairly interesting, given some thought. Blossoms like the Forget Me Not or hibiscus typically close at night. Whether they're exhausted from a long day of looking pretty or in need of a blanket and warm glass of milk, there's no denying that some blooms tuck themselves in for bed. In the darkness of totality, a simulated night, anyone observing flowers with this particular behavior would have seen them calling it a day, only to confusedly wake back up shortly after.
Massive jailbreak threatens local populace
Perhaps slightly more alarming than confused flowers who apparently don't read the news, there was a massive prison outbreak in Washington. Don't worry, you have no need to worry about being harmed, we're talking about fish, not felons. Thousands of Atlantic salmon escaped the confines of a fish farm on account of the stronger-than-normal tides. While the idea of literally tons of fish making a break for the hills is pretty funny, especially if you happen to have the Benny Hill theme stuck in your head, the reality of the situation is actually fairly alarming.
The potential impact of these marauding escapees on the native species in the local environment could actually be catastrophic. As such, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has declared an open season on the Atlantic salmon, with no limits on size or quantity, in order to protect the wildlife that call the area home, among them, the Pacific salmon. After all, we all know how destructive a turf war between East and West coast factions can be.
Furry friends also frightened
It wasn't just our dinners and the flowers on our dinner tables that were affected by the eclipse, however. Some of our four-legged friends also noticed that the sun was taking a time-out. After all, their daily lives are scheduled around when the sun rises and sets and the eclipse could actually affect their circadian rhythms, making some dogs think it was actually time for bed. That's right, dogs are just as easy to fool as flowers.
With cats on the other hand, changes in behavior were less easily detected. Probably because they're cats, and predicting or interpreting their behavior is a fool's errand to begin with. Still, there were reports of some cats being spooked by the sun's temporary vanishing trick, naturally with a brother or sister feline sitting nearby, not caring at all. For the most part, however, cats were simply annoyed by the sudden disappearance of their favorite spot to lay: in the sun's path.