A singing fish: it glows s green during courtship and looks like Boris Johnson’s hardship face | Helen Sullivan

A singing fish: it glows s green during courtship and looks like Boris Johnson’s hardship face | Helen Sullivan

People were uncertain the fish existed, until citizen scientists made an underwater recording

If, at midnight, you stick your oar into the water of the lagoon near Kallady Bridge in Batticaloa, on Sri Lanka’s east coast, you might hear fish sing. It sounds, according to Prince Casinader, who was a former local MP moonlighting as a journalist, “like a man idly playing on the keys of a piano. Bass notes and treble notes. Or like someone rubbing a finger around the rim of a wet wine glass.”

For a while, people were uncertain about whether the fish really existed. In a 2017 Trip Advisor review of singing fish tours organised by a local hotel, the tourist writes, “The Sound was there and we listened by placing the ear-end of the Oar … in water. And in one spot we heard it even without listening through the oars. It was an amazing experience.” The hotel’s owner responds: “Even though a lot of people know Batticaloa as the ‘Land of the Singing Fish’ most of them including locals think it is a legend and no truth to it. I heard it first when I was around 12 almost 30 years ago and after the long disruption due to the civil war people forgot about it and it slipped into distant memory.”

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