Hundreds of thorny starfish drifted to a coast in southern Japan in the past few days and scientists thought they were stranded due to lack of food.
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People discovered more than 800 starfish on an area about 300m long on the coast of Ishigaki Island, Japan, BBC reported earlier this week.
Several hundred starfish are located on the beach
Ishigaki island in southern Japan. (Photo: BBC)
The number of thorny starfish began to explode in 2009. At that time, many people clung to coral reefs - their food - under the sea.
Researchers have not figured out what caused the number of starfish to explode, but some scientists think they drifted up to the beach due to the depleted food source.
'The lack of coral may be the cause of starfish starvation on the sand,' said Go Suzuki, an expert at the Fisheries Research Agency. The coral once covered 60% of an area near Ishigaki Island, but today they cover only 1% of the area.
Due to the decrease in coral area, thorns starfish must move to near shore to get food. When they come too close to the coast, strong waves push them ashore. Being pushed by the waves to the shore in a state of starvation, thorns of starfish did not have the strength to return to the sea.