Have You Seen This? Real life 'fish tornado' puts 'Sharknado' to shame

Posted February 10

THE OCEAN — I haven’t watched “Sharknado,” but from what I understand about the movie, a bunch of sharks form a tornado and terrorize Earth. While that plot sounds ridiculous, to say the least, the creators of that film may actually have been inspired by real life ocean phenomena.

This clip, from BBC Earth, shows a school of small anchoveta fish swimming at lightning speeds to form a tornado shape — not to terrorize Earth, but to scare off other ocean-dwelling predators.

According to the video’s narrator, the anchoveta feel vibrations from approaching sea creatures and gather into tight ball-like formations in a “desperate attempt to ward off hungry predators.” The ball of anchoveta fish is intimidating to watch as it moves through the deep sea like underwater flubber, but that’s nothing compared to the massive, spinning tornado shape the fish form once they detect a predator coming closer.

Whether or not you enjoyed “Sharknado,” you’ll want to watch the real thing in action — it's both educational and suspenseful. Will the bonito fish break through the anchoveta’s fishnado, or will it take the speed of the yellow fin tuna to crack their ironclad formation?

What I learned from watching this is that the world is both creepy and beautiful. The deep sea is fascinating, and I’m glad we can watch videos like this to learn about it while safely keeping our distance.


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