Salmon cannon shoots fish over dam walls video goes viral

0
7


Give Twitter a fish, and you feed it for a day. But teach Twitter about a cannon that shoots salmon through a tube, and you feed enough memes to make people crazy.

The internet is losing its collective mind over a video of Whooshh Innovations’ salmon cannon – built to zip fish over hydroelectric dams that block their migration paths.

The video shows a man throwing a salmon into a tube. The translucent channel is suspended in mid-air, and the fish’s speeding shadow tells a harrowing story of a life in upheaval.

The salmon are loaded into the end of a tube then hurled across hundreds of metres into their new home, by a cannon.
The salmon are loaded into the end of a tube then hurled across hundreds of metres into their new home, by a cannon. (Cheddar)
The tube transports the salmon using air pressure and water from one location to another, sometimes hundreds of metres away.
The tube transports the salmon using air pressure and water from one location to another, sometimes hundreds of metres away. (Whooshh Innovations)

On it goes, for what probably feels like years in fish time but is actually a few seconds, until the fish is spat out on the other side of a dam.

People were immediately fascinated by the fish contraption, and they’ve quickly capitalised on the bizarre flying-fish machine.

Comedian John Oliver reminded everyone that he made his own version of the cannon on an episode of “Last Week Tonight” in 2014, when he “wooshhed” salmon onto Jon Stewart’s desk at “The Daily Show.”

What does the man behind the fish-flinger think about his contraption’s viral fame? “It’s sort of been outrageous how long this has taken to catch on.”

Whooshh Innovations CEO Vince Bryant said the video, created by streaming news network Cheddar, was stitched together with footage dating back to 2014, when the company’s first cannon was sold.

The first system needed workers to hand-feed fish into the tube to bypass the dam, but today’s version lets fish swim into it themselves, he said.

The salmon cannon was created by Whooshh Innovations a number of years ago, but has recently started to trend on social media.
The salmon cannon was created by Whooshh Innovations a number of years ago, but has recently started to trend on social media. (Whooshh Innovations)

Not to be lost among all the fish jokes is the fact that torpedoing a salmon several hundred metres in the air is a significant feat of engineering.

The salmon are propelled by the differential pressure between the front and the back of the fish and sent into the flexible tube that expands to their size. Once inside, the fish are misted with water to keep them breathing. And within a few seconds, they’ve splash-landed on the other side of a dam, he said, where they can safely reach their spawning grounds.

What bugs Mr Bryant the most is the claim that the fish are in pain, he said.

He cited an April study from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory that found salmon slung through the cannon sustained fewer injuries than traditional systems like fish ladders, which force salmon to jump up “rungs” to get upstream.

The Whooshh Innovations salmon cannon has gone viral after video showed the fish hurtling across dam walls to their new homes.
The Whooshh Innovations salmon cannon has gone viral after video showed the fish hurtling across dam walls to their new homes. (Whooshh Innovations)

“There’s no stress for the fish,” he said. “It should be a comfortable ride for them.”

The salmon are zipping at an average of 35km/h, so at least the trip’s a quick one. The contraption moves about 50,000 fish every 24 hours, and it’s an efficient way to help shift salmon to the upper reaches of rivers where they lay their eggs, Bryant said.

The company has sold 20 of its salmon cannon systems — which are much cheaper than traditional fish ladders, Bryant says – to government agencies across the US and Europe.

The longest one it has built was more than 520 metres, he said.

“People think it’s crazy,” he said. “This is the real deal, guys. This is not some internet video thing.”

© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019





Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here