Oslo—Tens of thousands of dead herring have carpeted a stretch of coast in northern Norway — and then disappeared again. The fish appeared on New Year’s Eve, leading to speculation that predators might have driven a huge school ashore or the fish could have been washed onto the beach by a powerful storm that hit Norway on Christmas Day.
Norway herring ashore
Jens Christian Holst of Norway’s Institute of Marine Research says a combination of several factors was the likely explanation. Locals also started pondering how to clean up the estimated 20 tons of dead fish on the beach in Kvaenes, near Tromsoe, north of the Arctic Circle, before it decayed. But before they could start, the fish disappeared.
This was the sight along a beach in northern Norway on New Year’s Eve, after 20 tons of dead herring washed ashore. Is this the end of days? Should we start running around, screaming about the Mayan calendar? No, you fools: Grab some brine and wine and get those herring pickled – stat!
While the sight of thousands of dead fish is surely a strange one, experts have some quite reasonable explanations that don’t involve a shred of the supernatural, thank you very much. The going theories include a shift in fresh water flows from nearby rivers, the herring pushed ashore by predators, or the school being washed up after a freak storm with hurricane-strength winds that struck the coast not long before.