Skip to main content

These videos of thousands of dead fish clogging a Long Island canal will haunt your dreams

These videos of thousands of dead fish clogging a Long Island canal will haunt your dreams


RIP bunker fish

Share this story

I’m just recovering from food poisoning likely caused by bad sushi. So right now, I hate fish — can’t even think of them without gagging. Of course this is when I stumbled upon these horrifying videos of thousands of silver bunker fish jiggling and flapping and struggling to get one last breath before they die. The water looks like it’s bubbling. It’s a nightmare.

That was the view yesterday at Shinnecock Canal in Hampton Bays, New York. The water was filled with dead floating fish. By now, most of them have probably sunk to the bottom, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation told CBS News. Residents have posted photos and videos on social media — and thank god technology doesn’t allow us to embed smells yet. I wouldn’t be here writing this post. I would be back in the bathroom, reliving my food poisoning nightmares.

Massive animal die-offs fascinate people. In August, 323 reindeer died in Norway and social media freaked out. The fish videos are likewise going viral — and people are obviously asking what caused all these poor, smelly animals to die en masse. Environmental officials won’t say. But Chris Paparo, the manager of Southampton Marine Science Center, told CBS News that blue fish were spotted in the bay on Sunday. Blue fish eat bunker fish. It’s likely that the blue fish chased the bunker into the closed canal, causing a stampede situation where the bunker fish depleted the oxygen in the water. Fish can’t live without oxygen any more than we can, so they all died.

That’s a gruesome, terrifying situation — worse than getting food poisoning from sushi. One thing is clear: these videos will haunt my dreams tonight. RIP bunker fish.