La Jolla Wow: Undulating Anchovy School

Onlookers gathered at Scripps Pier to watch the wee fishes flow and contract.

SPECTACULAR SIGHT: Consider the anchovy, if you will. It tends to get some ribbing, courtesy of joke-makers who unkindly call it the most undesirable of pizza toppings. (Not fair, given that the wee fish has just the right saltiness to complement the gooey cheese and tart sauce.) It's also left out of Caesar salads quite often, meaning that some of the zip of the dressing gets zapped. But the anchovy doesn't merely exist to please, or not please, the human palate: It's an ocean dweller, of course, and quite the dramatic one at that, if video out of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego in La Jolla is to be embraced. (Embracing any ocean-interesting video out of the science-smart Scripps is typically a Very Good Plan.) Swimmers encountered the anchovy -- make that many, many, many anchovies -- when a school undulated near Scripps Pier on Tuesday, July 8.

"UNDULATING"... works as a word here, right? It's rather lava lamp-like, the school's motion-fluid movement, but however you want to define it, in human terms, it is hypnotic. Ready to be anchovy-fied? Which definitely is not a term you'll see in any Scripps textbook but does aptly describe how one feels after viewing this video? Then watch now (and hang on for later in the video, when the camera goes beneath the waves).

QUICK QUESTION: Did the anchovy know they were so close to the ocean-famous institution? Surely one of them had a map or app, yes?

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