he image: A million (or more!) silvery fish turned up dead Tuesday in a Redondo Beach, Calif., marina, creating a "carpet of death" atop the water. (See a photo below.) Scientists say that the fish were likely forced close to shore, where the still water in the marina has very low oxygen levels that caused the sardines to suffocate, along with some anchovies and mackerel. Officials and volunteers are working on cleaning up the "sardine apocalypse" before the floating fish begin to decompose. They will use "a giant vacuum device" to suck the carcasses out of the water, and the fish remains will be used as fertilizer.
The reaction: It's "as if Davy Jones himself had burped up a couple hundred years worth of lunches," say Scott Gold, Nate Jackson, and Kenneth R. Weiss at the Los Angeles Times. And just you wait, says Tamara L. Morris at Yahoo! News. Soon we'll be hearing "more speculation about a coming apocalypse and potential natural disasters." For now, though, at least the sea lions and seagulls have plenty to eat, says King Harbor worker Larry Derr, as quoted in the L.A. Times. "They are sitting there fat and happy," Derr says. "They don't know what to do with themselves." See for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy
- Why would a young person today be religious?
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Why Good Friday is so important to Christians
- Which states get screwed worst by the Electoral College?
- Why I'm a pro-life liberal
- Attack of the invasive species
- Why we can't stop procrastinating, according to science
Subscribe to the Week