Over the past few weeks, The tiny fish have somehow been raining down on people all over the famous City by the Bay, and scientists have finally discovered just exactly why that has been happening. This year has seen a massive boom in the population of coastal anchovies, and it seems that the birds that choose to make a food source of them while they are midflight are quite the messy eaters.
“The anchovies are in pretty big numbers right now, and are pretty close to shore,” explained the interim deputy director at the Golden Gate Audubon Society, Whitney Grover, to SFGate.com. “So we’re experiencing a lot of these seabirds fishing, and then if they fly back over the land on the way to wherever they’re going, sometimes they drop fish.”
The Simulation is definitely breaking down: "Anchovies are reportedly raining from the sky across San Francisco" https://t.co/FEDgRKbttA
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) June 29, 2022
One Reddit user who uses the handle sanfrannie, recently stated in a post that a few dozen anchovies “rained down from the sky” onto their friend’s deck; while another claimed that they “almost got hit by a fish waiting for a bus,” and another user stated that they thought “a band of roving kids were doing a Tik Tok sardine-throwing challenge on a roof somewhere” after spotting the tiny fish slamming into the sidewalks, reported the outlet.
Groups of researchers in the area have stated that this exploding anchovy population has ended up giving these sea birds far more fish than they can consume.
“I heard stories just last week from guys who said that the water out there was just covered with thousands of birds, and the birds were just sitting on the water with anchovies in their mouths because they can’t eat anymore,” stated the president of the San Francisco Community Fishing Association, Larry Collins, to the outlet.
“Good news at least for the fans of Ceasar salads?!” joked Janet Hough via social media.
“Found a pile of anchovies in the park one day,” stated Travis Gohr. “Now I know where they came from.”
This population spike is reportedly due to a phenomenon called “upwelling,” in which streams of nutriet-packed cold water push to the surface, and end up being a siren’s song to the lesser members of the food chain.
“It’s just totally healthy ocean out there right now. I heard guys telling me about pelicans that, instead of diving to fill their mouths up, they’re just skimming the water and getting full mouths of anchovies,” explained Collins.
It seems to be those very same pelicans that have taken to dropping the anchovy projectiles all across town.
“I could see them going to Ocean Beach and picking up some anchovies, then flying right over San Francisco and over the Castro to go into the bay,” explained Grover.