Heaps Of Dead Sardines Wash Up On Hokkaido Beach, Creating Silver ‘Blanket’ Stretching 1.5km

Heaps Of Dead Sardine Wash Up On Hokkaido Beach On 7 Dec

A sandy beach in Hakodate, Hokkaido has turned silver overnight, after heaps of dead sardines washed ashore on Thursday (7 Dec).

The silver ‘blanket’ reportedly covered a stretch of shoreline measuring about 1.5km near a fishing port in the city.

Source: @tamate_doshin on X

The reasons behind the mysterious phenomenon remain unclear, but local authorities have begun clearing up the area while urging citizens not to consume the fish.

Heaps of sardines and mackerel wash up on beach in Hokkaido

According to The Asahi Shimbun, thousands of sardines and mackerel washed up on a beach near Toi fishing port on Thursday (7 Dec) morning.

The blanket of fish reportedly covered a stretch of shoreline measuring about 1.5km.

Source: Hokkaido Shimbun on Facebook

Officials estimated that the corpses weighed at least 1,000 tons, but said the actual weight could be higher.

Explanation behind phenomenon remains unclear

The exact explanation behind the phenomenon remains unclear.

A local researcher familiar with the subject said that it could’ve occurred as the fish were deprived of oxygen while getting chased by larger fish.

Source: @tamate_doshin on on X

It could also have happened as the fish entered cold waters while migrating, weakening them in the process.

Whatever the explanation, the researcher advised against eating the fish, given the mysterious circumstances behind how they found themselves on the beach.

Indeed, local authorities have warned locals not to consume the fish, claiming they’re covered in sand.

Some residents, however, have gone against the authorities’ advice. Japan Today reported that some locals have gone out to gather the fish to sell or eat.

The authorities have begun cleaning up the affected as of Saturday (9 Dec) and are considering incinerating the heaps of fish.

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Featured image adapted from @tamate_doshin on X and X

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