A strange phenomenon spreads fish across the beaches of the Philippines

A strange phenomenon spreads fish across the beaches of the Philippines

Recently, a massive amount of sardines, perhaps numbering in the millions, became stranded near an island in the Philippines, turning the coast into a silvery glow with small, lifeless fish covering the shore.

After it happened approximately 48 hours before an important event EarthquakeIt was not caused by any unusual prediction of the fish, but was attributed to a phenomenon known as “back'.

Millions of sardines washed up on the beaches around Maasim on the island of Mindanao – Photo: Cirilo Acquadera Lagnason Jr.

Speculation arose when, about 48 hours later, the area was hit by a strong earthquake, leading some to believe that the fish sensed the impending natural disaster and sought shallow water as a means of escape.

However, local experts explained that the two events are independent, and that a phenomenon known as bottom water upwelling may be responsible for the unusual mass stranding.

You Fish Disoriented people began swimming towards the shore in the early hours of Sunday morning, off the coast of Maasim municipality in Sarangani province, the southernmost point on the island of Mindanao.

Photos and videos recorded by residents overnight show large swarms of shiny sardines spread across the beach, hit by waves as they wash ashore.

The shallow waters turned silver and red due to dead fish – Photo: Mads Ismail Abdel Bali

At sunrise, residents gathered to collect dead fish. On one beach, more than 100 people collected between 20 and 30 kilograms of fish Sardines While one family packed more than half a ton of small fish, a Thai news website reported Nation.

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Most dead fish, if properly preserved, will likely be eaten or sold.

Some local residents interpreted this unusual phenomenon as a “gift from God” and a sign of an unusually prosperous new year, while others warned that the mass stranding could be a harbinger of a natural disaster, according to Bloomberg News. Tiger.

More about the earthquake

Around 5 a.m. local time on Tuesday (9/1), A Earthquake A 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck the Celebes Sea, according to the US Geological Survey.

The epicenter of the earthquake occurred about 100 kilometers off the coast of Al-Ma'asim, sparking speculation on social media about a possible link between the two events.

However, Cirilo Acquadera Lagnason Jr., a researcher at the Sarangani Bay Protected Areas Management Office (PAMO), who witnessed the sardine stranding firsthand, said the two phenomena are unlikely to be related to each other.

There is still a lack of studies on the ability the animals To predict earthquakes, although it is possible, in some cases, to respond to preliminary signals or mild tremors that precede more severe events.

Lagnason Jr. points out that the most likely cause of the mass stranding is the aforementioned oceanographic phenomenon known as bottom water upwelling.

In this phenomenon, nutrients rise from the sea floor into shallow coastal waters, causing plankton to multiply.

It is possible that the sardines, feeding on this plankton, followed the source into shallow water, becoming “trapped” and increasing their likelihood of stranding.

Similar scenarios have already been observed in several other locations in the world Filipino.

Most of the sardines, which probably belong to a species of the Sardinella genus, were juveniles, which may have contributed to the group's confusion. Zinaida A.

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Dankalan, Sarangani's fisheries official, also pointed out other factors that could play a role, such as the abundance of sardines, changes in temperature or sea salinity. OceanThe distribution of predators and light pollution from human settlements.

Lagnason Jr. suggests that the earthquake that followed the grounding was likely a coincidence, noting that earthquakes of this type are common in the “Ring of Fire,” a region of intense tectonic activity that extends around much of the Pacific Ocean, including the Philippines. .

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