Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at San Francisco chapter.

You may have recently heard about Charlotte, the pregnant stingray that has puzzled the globe. The only female ray in a tank full of sharks has become with pups and she has been the topic of online discussion about how her pregnancy came to be: Blessed Stingray? Or Shark-ray Hybrid? 

Charlotte, a female gray stingray, is currently a resident of the Aquarium and Shark Lab located in Henderson, North Carolina. Estimated to be between 12 and 14 years old, she has been cohabiting with two male sharks named Moe and Larry since their arrival in July of 2023. Upon closer observation, it was found that Charlotte had several shark bite wounds on her body, indicating that she may have engaged in mating behavior with one of her tank mates. This discovery has sparked speculation among scientific and social communities about the possibility of unprecedented offspring from this possible partnership.

The world is fascinated by the idea of nature catching us completely off guard, even though scientists claim to have almost certainly figured out how she became pregnant. I would personally like to believe that this scenario can be likened to a profound deep-sea phenomenon akin to the Virgin Mary, ultimately leading to the miraculous birth of a sacred offspring stingray. Instead, it is much more probable that Charlotte got pregnant through parthenogenesis, an asexual reproductive method, to conceive all by herself, although this kind of birth in stingrays hasn’t been recorded by researchers until now. 

Despite the rumors and murmurs, Team ECCO remains confident that Charlotte is healthy and well, and that her pregnancy is progressing normally. They have been monitoring her closely and making sure she has everything she needs for a safe and successful delivery. The staff is excited to welcome new additions to the aquarium and is eagerly anticipating the arrival of the babies, however they turn out. In the meantime, the aquarium continues to engage, educate, and inspire visitors about the wonders of the underwater world as Charlotte’s due date approaches. You can find Charlotte updates on TeamECCO’s TikTok account. Here is the link to their latest update: https://www.tiktok.com/@_teamecco_/video/7357465087768120622 

Lilah Rivera

San Francisco '27

Hi! My name is Lilah. I am from San Diego, CA and I am a first year dietetics major at SFSU