'Save on gas': China's heatwave 'cooks' live shrimp in a bag of water on way home from supermarket

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An extreme heatwave in China has caused live shrimp purchased at a supermarket to be ‘cooked’ alive in the bag they were carried home in due to the high temperatures.

On Saturday, a woman, surnamed Fang, from Xinyang in central China’s Henan province, discovered the crustaceans dead in their water-filled bag less than an hour after purchase.

She bought the shrimp around 9am and arrived home less than an hour later. Several had turned bright red as if they’d been cooked in boiling water as the temperature hit 41 degrees Celsius that day.

“When I bought them, they were very fresh – all were alive and kicking,” Fang told Bailu Video.

“It was probably the hot weather. I once put the bag on the ground which was scalding. I also placed them on the back seat of my electric bike and it was boiling hot at that time.

“In this kind of weather, you’d better try not to go outside … best to stay in a room equipped with air conditioning.”

The video report on the dead shrimp was among the most searched items on China’s most popular search engine Baidu on Tuesday, as cities across China, especially those in the south endured an ongoing heatwave.

“They are cooked, don’t bother to add oil. You also save on gas for heating them. You just eat them when you get home,” one commenter on Weibo said.

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“It’s possible the shrimp were cooked after being exposed to the hot weather. With an average temperature of 41 degrees, the Earth’s surface could be up to 60 to 70 degrees. The back seat of an electric bike could also be burning hot,” another person commented.

China’s south is experiencing unusually high temperatures, with many cities reporting average highs of 38 degrees. The country’s largest river, the Yangtze, and two biggest freshwater lakes, the Poyang and Dongting, have recorded their lowest water levels in six decades.

On Tuesday, China’s National Meteorological Centre issued a high-temperature red alert, the highest level under its weather warning system, for eight provinces.

The provinces of Sichuan, Chongqing, Shaanxi, Hubei, Jiangxi and Zhejiang were warned to expect the mercury to rise to 40 degrees or higher.

In Chongqing, one of the cities hardest hit by the intense heat, 51 rivers have dried up and 24 reservoirs presently have no water in them.

ALSO READ: Imminent heatwaves to scorch northern China

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.