A: When they existed, sea cows were big, slow, tasty, and defenseless, all of which is a bad combination around a slew of hungry humans. A cold-water relative of the manatee and dugong, the sea cow was discovered by Europeans in 1741 when the explorer Vitus Bering and his crew were ship-wrecked in the area between Siberia and Alaska. And since the group had some time to kill and some hungry bellies to feed, they decided to submit this sea cow to a taste test.
To their delight, they quickly realized that the meat tasted like veal and remained fresh for a surprisingly long time. Plus, there was a lot of it, since the beasts reached as much as 26 feet in length and weighed up to 8 tons. Estimates are that only about 20% of the sea cows shot or harpooned were actually caught, but by 1768 they had all died – an unfortunate occurrence for sure.Powered by Sidelines