02
February
2024
|
19:11 PM
Europe/Amsterdam

Florida Keys ‘Groundhog’ Conch Sees Its Shadow

Groundhog Day went a bit differently in the Florida Keys, when a conch living underwater in the island chain “disagreed” with famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of an early spring.

Story: Florida Keys ‘Groundhog’ Conch Sees Its Shadow

Locator Super: Marathon, Florida Keys

Video: Video to match this story to be uploaded to FTP sites beginning by 12:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2. Footage also is available NOW on the Florida Keys News Bureau's FTP server or via Google Link here

Topside and underwater B-roll of “groundhog” conch coming out of its shell and flipping shell over, attendees, special “Mollusk Meteorologist” song from Keys Singer/Songwriter John Bartus (permission granted to use music for editorial use only) and other scenes. SOTs with Ben Daughtry, president of Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters.

TRT: 01:55

Filename: KeysGroundhogConch.mp4

Video Source: Florida Keys News Bureau

NOTE TO EDITORS/PRODUCERS: Conch is pronounced “KONK.” 

 

MARATHON, Florida Keys – Groundhog Day went a bit differently in the Florida Keys, when a conch living underwater in the island chain “disagreed” with famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of an early spring. 

The “mollusk meteorologist” emerged from its shell Friday morning at Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters and saw its shadow, according to Ben Daughtry, Aquarium Encounters’ president. Punxsutawney Phil, however, reportedly did not see his.

The folklore surrounding Punxsutawney Phil means that, if he sees his shadow, another six weeks of winter weather is on tap for the U.S. If he doesn’t, the outlook is for an early spring.

“Unlike Punxsutawney Phil, who didn’t see his shadow, our mollusk meteorologist did see its shadow, and that’s predicting six more weeks of winter,” Daughtry said.

“Of course, our winter in the Florida Keys … 75 degrees average high temperature,” Daughtry added. “I’m not so sure what it’s like up north.”

The conch resides in a shallow “touch tank” at Aquarium Encounters in Marathon, located midway between Key Largo and Key West. 

Among guests observing the sea creature’s activities were members of the Marathon City Council and Monroe County Commission, who wore traditional “Groundhog Day” top hats. In addition, local musician John Bartus performed a self-penned song about “waiting for the mollusk meteorologist.”

“The queen conch is a very special animal to the Florida Keys,” said Daughtry.  “If you’re born in the Florida Keys you’re considered a conch, the Key West High School is the ‘Fighting Conchs’, and we’re home to the Conch Republic,”

While the Keys conch predicted six more weeks of winter, that’s no problem in the island chain — since the Keys’ “winter” temps are typically among the warmest in the U.S.

###

 

FTP Information*
Host: ftp://216.194.165.19/ 
UserID: floridakeys@news.fla-keys.com
Password: islands
Folder: News Video
Filename: KeysGroundhogConch.mp4

*Access and download files from the FTP site using dedicated software such as Fetch.