When things start dying en masse it’s easy to imagine that the second coming is imminent or that some kind of zombie apocalypse is on our door steps. So when I saw these images of fishy carnage today I got a bit of a chill. But once I’d gathered my thoughts I realised there was probably a better explanation than the end of life as we know it, and there is.
Maninjau lake, in the province of West Sumatra, Indonesia found this corpse buffet this week after a series of storms. The locals weren’t too phased, it has happened before. Back in 2009 at least 7,000 tonnes of fish expired in unison in the very same place.
The lake is in an extinct volcanic crater, that means that if the sediments are stirred up a serious quantity of sulphur is released into the water. It turns out that fish aren’t particularly keen on having sulphur all up in their gills.
I imagine when this first happened the locals faced a bit of a dilemma. On the one hand they don’t have to go fishing because the waters have produced a bounty of fresh fish to snack on, but on the other hand the fish all died of something mysterious. I assume the locals would be concerned that whatever killed the fish is still in the fish. Hmmm… dilemma indeed.
The 99.5-square-kilometer Maninjau is fringed with beautiful mountains and has become a bit of a tourist hot spot over the last few years. Will thousands of fish carcasses encourage trade or put people off? It would be quite a spectacle to see, but I’m presuming that the smell will get considerably worse before it gets better.
More pictures of fish cadavers on the next page kids…
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