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Chile’s mysterious fish death phenomenon is perplexing scientists

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A clean-up operation is underway as thousands of death fish are discovered on a Chilean beach
A clean-up operation is underway as thousands of death fish are discovered on a Chilean beach   -   Copyright  Reuters Connect
By Ben Anthony Horton  with Reuters Connect

Thousands of dead sardines and anchovies have washed up on a Chilean beach in an unexplained natural phenomenon.

The incident, which happened in the country's Biobío Region, covered the shorelines of Coliumo with a colourful array of dead marine animals.

Environmental officials are now investigating water quality in the region to determine the cause of the mysterious incident.

A clean-up operation is currently underway.

Reuters Connect
Environmental officials are investigating water quality in the region to determine the cause of the mysterious incidentReuters Connect

"This is not an area that can be swum in,” says Ivonne Rivas, the local mayor.

“We can’t bring down earthmovers (tractors) to clear the dead fish, as is usually the case when there is a clean up of seaweed on our coast. Here we can't do it. It has to be done with workers."

This is not the first time shoals of dead fish have been found on beaches in this part of Chile.

Similar incidents reported last year were explained by low oxygen levels in deeper waters, with fish swimming closer to the shoreline in search of nutrients.

Watch the video above to see the shocking incident yourself.

Video editor • Ben Anthony Horton