TAIWAN — When small fish break the surface of the water in an attempt to escape predators, it’s known as a boil. One of the best local spots to see boiling action is Lake Powell, where shad often churn the water as they flee hungry stripers.
But even the most intense Lake Powell boil pales in comparison to the chaotic scene captured in this Facebook video. Recorded by a fisherman in Taiwan named Lu Jingwai, the bizarre video had been viewed more than 51,000 times, as of Tuesday afternoon.
The frantic fish seen in the video are sardines, according to Newsweek. And as tens of thousands of the little fish take flight, they create quite an aerial display around Lu and his companions.
Rather than taking home a mountain of fish for dinner, Lu reportedly helped scoop the fish out of his boat and released them.
Nicholas Higgs, deputy director of the Marine Institute at the University of Plymouth, told Newsweek that while the boil in Lu’s video was “incredible,” it certainly wasn’t unique.
"I suspect the fish were being hunted, perhaps by a barracuda or some other predator, and found themselves enclosed in the harbor, and as a last resort, just jumped out of the water to avoid predation," Higgs said.
If Higgs’ theory is correct, it was hardly a fair fight. Sardines rarely exceed 6 inches in length, while barracudas can grow to more than 5 feet long.