In a scene reminiscent of a biblical plague, residents of Hampton Bays in Suffolk County, New York awoke Monday morning to find the town’s canal so full of dead bunker fish that one local remarked “you could’ve walked across the water.”
While the Suffolk County Health Department has taken water samples to test for contamination, experts do not think the mass kill-off was the result of environmental issues. Instead, experts speculate that the bunker fish were chased into the canal by a predator—most likely a school of blue fish.
Via Long Island’s News 12:
“They chased them in here, but unfortunately the locks are closed so it’s just a dead end, they can’t get out,’ says Chris Paparo, of the Stony Brook University Marine Sciences Center. “And with the sheer number of fish in here, it just sucks the oxygen out of the water and they suffocate.”
By the time the canal locks were opened and the fish could escape, most had died and they floated out into the open water.
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Local fishermen have since been collecting the fish to sell as lobster bait in Maine.
I, for one, welcome the end of days.
This is what the LORD says: By this you will know that I am the LORD: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Shinnecock canal, and it will be changed into blood. The fish in the Shinnecock canal will die, and the river will stink and the Hampton Bays residents will not be able to drink its water.
— Exodus 7:17–18