North Carolina Aquarium Has To Go Full ‘Maury’ To Identify How Stingray Mysteriously Got Pregnant

Today Show

Well…this is not a byline I thought I’d be writing.

A female stingray named Charlotte, who lives in a North Carolina aquarium, is expecting pups…

Now, before I keep going, I want to clear up two things. 1) Yes, I am aware of how the trajectory of this current blog is sounding. We all know the birds and the bees and how babies are made. 2) Prior to changing my career path to journalism, I graduated with an Animal Science degree, and what I am about to report on feels like a scientific anomaly to even me.

Back to the story at hand. Charlotte has become pregnant (yay!), but she has not been inhabited with a male string ray for quite some time (and this is the cue for the studio audience to let out a giant “HUH?”).

The Today Show reported that there are two possibilities for how this happened.

“Scientists say that in rare instances, stingrays can reproduce without a mate to help the pieces survive. Or, possibility number two: It’s possible the stingray was impregnated by a small male shark that was placed in her tank last July.

Guys, the only way we are going to find out is DNA test after Charlotte gives birth to her pups.”

I mean this needs its own episode of Maury.

We either have a new species being born out of the two animals crossing their DNA, or we have a Virgin Mary situation with this stingray. Is your mind already thinking about what a shark/stingray baby looks like? Because I am.

A stingray’s gestation period is 3 to 4 months long, so I guess we will have to check back in once Charlotte’s pups have been born.

@todayshow A female stingray at a North Carolina aquarium is pregnant but has been living without a male companion. There are two possible explanations, but only a DNA test after the pups are born will reveal the answer. #TODAYShow ♬ original sound – TODAY Show

Until then, have fun reading some of my favorite commentary on TikTok sharing the story.

“A shark ray.”

“Option #3 Who was in charge of the daily stingray feeding?”

“The shark: But… you said you were on the pill.”

“Overnight janitor is kinda fishy.”

“Algorithm please bring me back. I’m so invested.”

“Shark says HE’S NOT THE FATHER and is demanding a DNA test.”


“Immaculate conception.”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock