Stingray ‘laughing’ while being tickled in viral TikTok is actually ‘suffocating to death,’ say experts
Viral video is not quite as adorable as people thought
A viral video of an apparently laughing stingray has had many liking, sharing, and commenting on the tremendously cute reaction to being tickled. However, scientific experts have come forward to not only debunk the laughing theory but provide a much more sinister one.
Repeat after me people :
"I will not touch ocean animals unnecessarily for social media clout"
Thank you... pic.twitter.com/wKsorJi983
— Aaron Shepard (@spacecadetshep) June 16, 2021
“This stingray is clearly suffocating to death. The scientific literature is quite clear. Like all fish, stingrays have the capacity to feel pain,” says Ben Williamson, the programmes director of the nonprofit organisation World Animal Protection in the US.
“Like all wild animals, stingrays should be left alone to live out their lives in peace, free from human interference and harmful hobbies, such as sportfishing,” Williamson added.
Social media users have also touched on the idea of anthropomorphism, the process of attributing human expression and characteristics to animals. The two holes that appear to be eyes are actually nostrils