Fish-nado: school of Atlantic spadefish form tornado-like funnel stretching almost 110ft high
A tornado-like funnel of fish has been captured on video off the coast of Florida.
The fish-nado was spotted by Joe Kistel 28 miles off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida.
The column of Atlantic Spadefish swimming in a circle, but collectively moving as one, stretched from the sea bed to the surface – some nearly 110ft.
Joe, an underwater videographer for the marine-conservation nonprofit TISIRI, had been filming an marine life at a purposefully sunken US Coast Guard ship when he spotted the bizarre sight.
He said: “I was down at depth filming some of the ships structure when I notice a giant shadow block out my available daylight.
“When I look up a see a massive wall of Atlantic spadefish.
“As I am able to get my visual reference and swim to observe from a better perspective, I am astonished to see this giant school of fish is in a tornado congregation stretching from the sea floor all the way to the sea surface, which was some 110 feet above.
“It was a breathtaking sight.”
Incredibly, the fish came within touching distance of Joe as he filmed with a specially adapted underwater camera.
Joe, from Jacksonville, Florida, added: “The fish allowed me to video them for a few minutes and even came within arm’s length to investigate me at times.”
Atlantic Spadefish are commonly sighted off the coast of Florida, particularly reef locations situated northeast of the sunshine state.
Joe explained: “They enjoy the structure the reefs provide. We encounter them frequently, however this is likely the largest congregation I have come across to date.
“When these fish are in super large densities they seem to take on a tornado type schooling pattern.
“When fish school it is thought that it is a survival mechanism as your odds as an individual fish are better off when surrounded by a bunch of your buddies when a predator arrives.
“The tornado school pattern may further confuse predators ability to isolate any one fish individually.”