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Manta Ray Appears On San Francisco Sidewalk

So, I'm walking back to work from lunch, and on the sidewalk of a very busy street in San Francisco (right at 4th and Market in the South of Market district) I see a huge Manta Ray on the sidewalk!

I was one of the first people at the site and a few police officers had just arrived on the scene. Everyone was just staring at the giant Manta Ray wondering how it ever got there.

The guy who called the police said that it actually flapped its way over to that part of the sidewalk from about 20 feet away, so it must have been alive when it was dropped there!

I wonder if this is some kind of protest against a company around there. Certainly got some attention as by the time I left there were 4 police cars and dozens of people gathered around it looking.  Anyone have any ideas?

Oh and to add some morbid humor to this bizarre turn of events, one of the officers on the scene poured a half-empty water bottle on the poor creature... Maybe in hopes of magically reviving it...

I'm pasting the pictures I took below:

Your guess is as good as mine, but it was tragic to see a still-living animal surrounded by people who had no idea how to help it stave off a nearly imminent death. RIP little guy.


Spiking my curiosity, here's some information on Manta Rays: They are the largest of the marine Ray family, and can grow to be 25 feet across. They are filter feeders, and are extremely fond of humans-- often swimming alongside divers and surfacing near ships that have their engines off. They have the largest brain-to-body ratio of any shark or ray. They are hunted by sharks and rarely, orcas. They also like to breach the water-- but that's definitely not what happened here unless it could jump about half a mile (and land intact). Manta Rays did NOT kill Steve Irwin, the television personality-- sting rays did (a close cousin, with a barbed tail).

Here's some videos of the eerily beautiful creature swimming in its element

This amazing clip shows hundreds of manta rays jumping (as part of their mating ritual)

EPJulio EPJulio 26-30, M 24 Responses Aug 14, 2008

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Lot's of Asian folks in San Fran, and from what I know, some Asian cultures like to eat Ray's, and also use parts of them for medicinal purposes, So maybe somebody intending to use or eat the thing dropped it? Or maybe it was dropped by a bird or Seagull? Anyone touch it? Maybe it wasn't even a real one like a stage prop? LOL

Loved your whole story, facts, pic's I surly had a few giggles Tee Hee and at the same time I do feel for the fish, it's the peoples resonse that was so cute and funny. You certainly know how to make for a good story !

now you know that was pass~what ever happen to actually calling getting it some real help~finding it some water~a half bottle of water~that thing requires at least a bath tub full of water~did anyone try lifting it towards some water~people are so cruel~dam watching it just lie n die~yes i would of been calling somebody~doing something~anything better than standing watching the po thing slowly suffer to it's death~dam~am crying~4 this is to painfull~just barely can see my screen~thanks for sharing

A but harsh to call people cruel when you have no idea what they may have been doing. The police were already there, so doubtless the first thing they did was call an animal rescue charity; bathtubs of water are strangely hard to come by on public streets. Carrying it anywhere would be a nightmare given its awkward shape and the fact that it would be flapping like crazy. Sometimes there's not an awful lot you can do.

sheesh where's a starbucks when you need it? Would putting it in a filled sink with salt water helped it? anyway cool story, thanks for the pics

Steve Irwins death was a tragic accident, the sting ray was not waiting to attack him or anyone else.

What an utterly odd and sad thing to happen. Maybe a seafood restaurant was receiving deliveries and the manta ray made its escape? You'd think the cops would have put it in the car and sped to the waterfront and at least tried to save it.

Well, it seems like so many of you are wondering how that thing really got there alive. Here in Micronesia (group of many small islands in the Pacific Ocean) this animal had done so many strange things that humans cannot seem to believe unless they witness or see with their own eyes what these things could actually do. Since I am a part of this native islands I know what this animal can do, and what it is capable of doing. Since I was a kid I have been told to always respect nature and its inhabitants and I always do that and most of the time I have been told that this island where I am from (Pohnpei) is an island of weird life experiences just like what happened in the photo up there. I wonder how you guys would actually react upon seeing water eels cry at funerals, manta rays and sting rays came out of the ocean to fed farewell at a funeral of an old lady who strongly believe that there are ways that we humans could actually communicate and have strong bonds with these animals (manta rays and sting rays). And believe it or not these things can never attack a person unless that person attacked them. It is your choice to believe me or not. But if you really want to see how things work out between these creatures and the native islanders why not take a vacation wherein you will see things with your own eyes.

Are you suggesting they can fly, or just walk a very long way on land?

Well, it seems like so many of you are wondering how that thing really got there alive. Here in Micronesia (group of many small islands in the Pacific Ocean) this animal had done so many strange things that humans cannot seem to believe unless they witness or see with their own eyes what these things could actually do. Since I am a part of this native islands I know what this animal can do, and what it is capable of doing. Since I was a kid I have been told to always respect nature and its inhabitants and I always do that and most of the time I have been told that this island where I am from (Pohnpei) is an island of weird life experiences just like what happened in the photo up there. I wonder how you guys would actually react upon seeing water eels cry at funerals, manta rays and sting rays came out of the ocean to fed farewell at a funeral of an old lady who strongly believe that there are ways that we humans could actually communicate and have strong bonds with these animals (manta rays and sting rays). And believe it or not these things can never attack a person unless that person attacked them. It is your choice to believe me or not. But if you really want to see how things work out between these creatures and the native islanders why not take a vacation wherein you will see things with your own eyes.

That is so sad, so sick and makes my blood boil! Do you know what happened to it?

If someone did this to prove a point, the only point they proved is how cruel they are.

Julio thanks for the pics. Yeah some crazy did that! That's down by the Montgomery Bart Station and somebody did that for a reason, in the city you never know why.

He is out looking for another dip who hunts crocodiles! L.O.L.

He is out looking for another dip who hunts crocodiles! L.O.L.

haha I feel sorry for this poor thing but this made me chuckle :P

"The guy who called the police said that it actually flapped its way over to that part of the sidewalk from about 20 feet away.."<br />
~~~~~~~~~~~~~<br />
WHAT!!!

Anyone with such a callus disregard for another creatures life to just cruelly deprive it of it's life for the purpose of making a statement is a monster. <br />
All the respect I once had for Thomas Edison evaporated when I saw a youtube film of an elephant chained and electrocuted at his command to "prove" DC electricity was more dangerous than his AC electricity. To me it only proved he was a monster as well. Killing anything for such purposes is just wrong.

what. the eff?<br />
poor ray :/<br />
if it was some kind of practical joke,<br />
its not funny at all. it aint cool to have killed the little fella.<br />
thats seriously crazy tho.<br />
ever find out what happened?

Oh Hell.....It's coming!!!!Cthulhu Is drawing near! THE GREAT VILLAIN OF THE COSMOS WHO RESIDES IN THE MOTHER OCEAN IS RISING! SURELY THIS IS THE HOUR WHEN MAN SHALL FALL TO THEIR KNEES IN HORROR OF THE VILE CREATURES THAT WILL POUR FORTH FROM THE WATERS!!!!! REPENT!!!!!REPENT!!!!!REPENT!!!!!!!

WTF? =I

Yes its very sad poor thing.

i think i see a caption of the day picture....

The cops are looking at it as if to say: DO we give him a loitering ticket??? rofl!

There were some protests down the street for the SEIU or some other labor cause, and now the manta ray....what a weird day.