One of Mother Earth’s most magical occurrences is, without a doubt, the annual Sardine Run. Every year, between June and July, MILLIONS of sardines form huge, swirling shoals, resulting in the “Greatest Shoal on Earth.” It is indeed a natural phenomenon – one that people from all over the world look forward to. Not too shabby for South Africa’s Wild Coast. Although still months away, The Sardine Run 2014 is already generating quite a bit of interest, and for good reason. Take a look at these facts about the Sardine Run, guaranteed to leave you marvelling at the magic of nature:
- The Sardine Run is actually a migration occurring as the waters change temperature during winter. The tiny fish swim from the south of Africa following the flow of cold currents up the coast of eastern South Africa, creating amazing waves of glistening silver.
- As a result of the massive quantities of sardines in the water, some of the ocean’s greatest predators are attracted to the Wild Coast. Sharks, seals, Cape Cormorants (for the avid bird watchers) and dolphins are in abundance during the Sardine Run, all hoping to feast on the splendid silver banquet before them.
- Coincidently, the Sardine Run occurs around about the same time that the famous Humpback Whales migrate along the same route to warmer waters, which are more conducive to mate and nurse their young.
- While this phenomenon is still not fully understood by researchers, the presence of sardine eggs in Kwa-Zulu Natal’s waters have lead them to believe that they stay in the area for several months at least. It is assumed that the sardines return to the cooler waters during spring.
- As the sardines travel north along the coast, the sardines swim closer to the shore than usual. While there is not yet evidence to suggest that this is because of factors affected by temperatures, the general consensus is that this is so.
The Sardine Run is a sight to behold. The Wild Coast just comes alive with all the oceanic activity. If there was ever a time when Mother Nature was showing off, it is definitely during the Sardine Run, and this year is sure to be no different.