Tens of thousands of fish suddenly died in New York from asphyxiation
If the characters from Finding Nemo and Finding Dory happened to find their way to New York state earlier this week, they would have been confronted with a scene straight out of a horror movie. Or maybe a better comparison would be the aftermath of a battlefield – and not a small battle, one of the really nasty ones from the First World War where generals thought strategy meant running in a zig zag toward machine guns rather than directly at them.
The Shinnecock Canal became the scene of a gruesome fish massacre, as tens of thousands – possibly hundreds of thousands – of fish met a sad end. Schools of bunker fish, also known as menhaden fish, were fleeing predatory bluefish when they became trapped in a canal. Then things got bad. Really, really bad.
The fish had no room to move, as more and more of them flooded into the enclosed area. As contradictory as it might seem, fish need oxygen to survive. As increasing numbers of fish crowded the area, the oxygen in the water was used up. With no source of water to refresh it, all the fish suffocated.
The dead fish floated to the top and took up almost every inch of surface area in the enclosed canal. A few fish managed to survive and swim back out to the sea, but most had to be removed. The smell was probably something that will haunt the locals for the rest of their lives. Bunker fish aren’t good for eating, but they do make good bait for lobster and sea bass, so it was a big day for fishermen. No one talks about what happened to the rest, and it’s probably best we don’t know.
Check out a video of the bizarre scene below.