Early this morning a small, dead shark was spotted on the Queens-bound N train. [Please point out in the comments how it's currently Shark Week it'll be just hilarious.] Tipster Mary M. sent us some photos, noting that the shark was there when she got on at 34th Street just after midnight.
"I board a car that's not terribly full and as soon as I enter, a stench hits my nose. It's not the typical urine/trash smell, it's...fishy? I look down to the end of the car to see a dead shark on the floor. I think I stood there for a good minute just staring, thinking 'Is this for real?! Oh come ON, NYC!' One of my fellow passengers remarked 'I've been riding the subway for 15 years, and this is the weirdest thing I've seen. And I've seen EVERYTHING.' The train filled as we made our way to Astoria, every new passenger was getting excited about it. Once we got to Queensboro Plaza, an MTA employee made all of us move to another car."
Mary did not see who dumped the shark there, but surely someone saw something? Email us if you witnessed this scenario play out. In the past we've seen people selling baby sand sharks right out of buckets on the subway, and this looks to be a similar shark.
We've reached out to the MTA to see how they go about discarding something like this, and a spokesman cracked wise (and inaccurately described a shark as a "mammal"):
"Live sharks are wrangled by Shark Maintainer IIs, who have passed the qualification test and have minimum three years in the Shark Maintainer I title. Dead ones are handled by Shark Maintainer Is, or if none are available on that shift, then by Aquatic Mammal Handler IIs."
Check back later today for our exclusive interview with the MTA's Chief Aquatic Mammal Handler II.
UPDATE: The MTA confirms the shark was real, and tells us, "The conductor on this N train reported the shark to the control center at 12:34 am. The conductor moved everyone out of the car at Queensboro Plaza, and when the train arrived at the end of the line at Ditmars Boulevard, a Train Service Supervisor placed the dead shark in a garbage bag and disposed of it in the trash. The Road Car Inspector at Ditmars made sure the car was clean and returned it to normal service."
UPDATE II:This guy gave the shark a cigarette and MetroCard.