Hundreds Of Fish Are 'Walking' On Land In Selangor. Here Are Possible Reasons Why

A huge number of 'ikan puyu' jumped out of a drain and onto land near a surau in Tanjong Karang in an occurrence that is described as "miraculous" by witnesses.

Cover image via SINAR (Facebook)

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A video of hundreds of fish jumping from inside a drain and onto land in Tanjong Karang recently went viral

According to Sinar Harian, the incident took place near Surau Haji Sulaiman at Sawah Sempadan on Wednesday, 18 August.

In the clip that has been making its rounds on social media, hundreds of ikan puyu (perch fish) can be seen jumping out of the water onto land and then squirming around in mud.

Behind the camera, a man can be heard calling the event "miraculous".

Members of the surau said that the event went on until night time and they managed to collect up to 30kg of fish

The surau's imam, Sapar Rezam Sapri, told Harian Metro, "I heard a member of the surau scream before rushing outside to see what happened and was shocked to find hundreds of perch fish on land."

Meanwhile, a resident named Kamarul Arifin Ahmad said that road users had to stop their vehicles to make way for fish that were crossing the road between two drains.

Netizens responded to the video by speculating on the reason behind the fish's peculiar behaviour

One person commented, "Perch fish have this ability. At home, my mother keeps perch fish as pets and if we forget to close the aquarium at night after feeding, by tomorrow morning, there must be one or two fish that have jumped out. Old people say that toyol play with them, but perch fish are just aggressive and jump really high."

Image via Facebook

Another person noted, "This is not a phenomenon. The pond there is dry, so the fish went on land to find a place with water. It normally happens."

Image via Facebook

"Perch fish will go on land and move when it's raining or after rain where water levels rise. Perch fish like places with calm water," commented another user.

Image via Facebook

Meanwhile, there are several scientific reasons as to why the creature might jump out of water

According to ABC News, the common reason why some species of fish leap out of water is that they use it as a means of escaping from predators.

Besides that, fish also jump out of water to chase food, look for mates, or escape toxic, smelly living conditions.

Meanwhile, Men's Journal noted that the climbing perch, native to Southeast Asia, is an invasive freshwater fish that can crawl on land by its gills and live out of water for up to six days.

They can grow up to 9.8" and breathe on land through lungs that are next to their gills. The perch is also known to hibernate in the mud of dried-up creek beds for up to six months.

This theory is backed up by the Selangor Fisheries Department director Abdul Rahman Abdul Wahab who told Harian Metro, "The occurrence of ikan puyu or climbing perch migration during the rainy season or certain times is common for this 'air breather' fish species."

He then explained that 'air breathers' are a certain type of fish, like the perch, that can survive using oxygen available in the air through labyrinthine organs.

"The perch fish walks on land by moving its relatively flat lower body and pectoral fins," he added.

Malaysia is also home to the empurau fish which has a price tag of up to RM600 per kg:

Here are other peculiar animals you can find in Malaysia:

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