Dead shark found on New York City subway

Dead shark on the N train (Photo by @michaelhayes via Twitter)

August 7, 2013 3:16:20 PM PDT
Subway riders might have thought "Sharknado" arrived in New York City after a dead shark was found on an N subway train.

Around 12:30 am last night, the conductor aboard a Ditmars-bound N train at Queensboro Plaza reported that there was a shark aboard the train in car #8994.

"I boarded an empty car on the N train at the 8th Street stop and it smelled extremely fishy. I assumed that's why it was empty until I looked down and saw that poor straphanging dead shark," Isvett Verde told Eyewitness News. "I mean, I thought I'd seen it all, but even that was a bit much. I have no idea how it got there or how long it had been there."

The conductor asked passengers to leave the car and closed it off. The train continued to the end of the line, and then a supervisor placed the shark in a garbage bag and put it in the trash.

In photos, the shark appears to be about 4 feet long. In some of them, a cigarette dangles from its mouth with a fare card and Red Bull can nearby.

A marine expert at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center has looked at the shark and says it is real.

Shark experts to whom we showed the pictures believe it is a smooth dogfish (Mustelus canisIt is a local species common along our beaches this time of year). As for its age, that is hard to tell. Large females reach a maximum adult length of 5 feet and males tend to be smaller. Experts say these sharks have small, flat teeth and could not even break the skin of your finger if you stuck it in its mouth, and they are considered harmless.

Transit officials say they were aware of the photos but are making no effort to find the person who posted them. The transit authority says it has "better things to do."

And the shark sparked a flurry of reaction on Twitter.

"Latest on the shark on the N train: unconfirmed reports that the shark was headed home after a night of partying in Coney Island," Kevin Ortiz, MTA spokesman, tweeted.

By late in the afternoon, someone had set up a Twitter handle, @NYCSubwayShark.

"I swear if one more person snaps a picture of me I'm gonna lose it. It's like these people have never seen a shark on the subway before," the shark tweeted.