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Mysterious melting sea stars raise concerns in U.S. and Canada

There have been recent reports of starfish that appear to have melted in bodies of water located in Washington state and British Columbia. Biologists are not yet sure about what is causing these creatures to die in such an unusual way.
According to King 5, biologists recently went scuba diving in the waters of Puget Sound to recover several different healthy and diseased starfish. During their expedition, they noticed a disturbingly large number of starfish that appear to have died and melted into a pile of goo on the ocean floor. Although there are theories that this mysterious phenomena could be related to a widespread viral infection outbreak, researchers are still uncertain of the exact cause. It is now believed that as many as 60 percent of the local star fish species may be infected by this mysterious illness. CBC reports that a diver recently spotted a large number of decaying starfish in the waters of Whytecliffe Park in British Columbia. According to Earthweek, Canadian researchers have gathered healthy-looking starfish for research only to find that they had disintegrated once they reached the lab. Biologists are concerned about how this mystery will affect the ecosystem as a whole.

This is not the first incident of widespread starfish deaths. In 2011, numerous dead starfish washed ashore along California's Sonoma Coast. It is believed that a red tide bloom was responsible for the deaths, according to The Bay Citizen.

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