The open ocean is vast and desolate. Even though it is wet and cool, food and shelter is few and far in between. Basically, the open sea is an aquatic desert. But, in certain parts of the ocean at certain times, you can find tremendous explosions of life. These explosions come in the form of bait balls, which are schools of migratory baitfish such as sardines, anchovies, and mackerel. In the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California, a massive baitball of sardines triggers a dramatic hunt.
Driven up from depths of 300 feet, the school of sardines is at the mercy of a multitude of marine predators. From below, they suffer attacks from dorado and striped marlin, and from above, they suffer attacks from gannets and other diving seabirds.
Soon, sea lions and even a whale join in the feast. For the sardines, there is very little hope of survival. In very little time, the hungry predators greatly reduce the sardines’ numbers.
You know that idiom “safety in numbers”? Well, as you can see in this scenario, that saying is not always true. Safety in numbers is great until your enemies start herding you into a tight ball and picking you off one by one.
Below, you can watch the full video of the timeless, epic hunt of the sardines.