Abundant in the cold waters of the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans, herrings have long fed human beings, and been conserved salted, smoked or pickled.

They travel in large schools and have somehow evolved a strange method of communication at night.

Herrings

A Scottish/Canadian study published in a scientific magazine has found that the fish actually produce high-pitch sounds by farting. The scientists have even been awarded an Ig Nobel prize (for “For achievements that first make people LAUGH then make them THINK”) for their discovery!

Meanwhile, Swedish scientists had been investigating the same phenomenon, because the Swedish navy had been reported strange noises that they attributed to the presence of Russian submarines!

In any case, I’m wondering whether communication attempt can be used as an excuse when accidentally farting in public!

Read more on National Geographic and the Guardian.

You can also hear the sound on this National Geographic video: