SAN DIEGO – Usually we see anchovies on pizza.
But a school of wild California anchovies so big it rivals anything seen off the San Diego coast in three decades – was spotted by researchers.
“It was an amazing experience. Thousands and thousands of fish. And when you dive down into the school, they respond to you, they swim off in all sorts of directions, they’ll swim around you, behind you. You can’t see where they start and where they end,” said Jenn Moffatt.
Jenn Moffatt of Birch Aquarium was one of the lucky ones.
She swam with the fishes.
This video was shot by snorkelers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who saw the same thing she did.
Their video shows not thousands, but millions of anchovies.
And this is what it looked like from above.
The black band of fish extended for several miles and extended an estimated fifteen feet deep and 100 meters wide.
Although it’s not unusual for northern anchovies to swim in schools, a school this big is unheard of, especially this far south.
Some divers who swam below the school said it was a complete blackout above.
They were lucky ones, because almost as quickly as the massive school of anchovies formed, it also disappeared.