The Kid Should See This

Fish Tornado – A behind-the-scenes look at the famous photograph

This short, silent video shares a few behind-the-scenes moments from the ”fish tornado” photograph, titled David and Goliath, taken in Cabo Pulmo, Baja California Sur, Mexico by photographer Octavio Aburto


“As people have seen this image, I have been getting a lot of messages in my inbox and phone calls asking me “is this photo real?”  And “how did you congregate all these fish in one place to take the photo?”

“My response to these questions has been this — of course it is real. Fish, as is the case with many other animals, have certain behaviors that they perform when they reproduce. For example, when monarch butterflies mate they travel hundreds of thousands of kilometers, crossing from Canada down through Mexico to form unbelievable congregations. Sea turtles also have unique reproduction behavior —some travel the entire Pacific just to return to the beaches where they originally hatched. Birds fly hundreds of kilometers to certain areas to nest as well. These behaviors are well known within terrestrial animals and within the scientific community we have also known of these behaviors with fish and other marine creatures for many years. In Cabo Pulmo for example, blacktip reef sharks and mobula rays also congregate in large numbers to mate during the winter season.

“Even after I explain this unique behavior and the spectacular spawning aggregations of fish that occur naturally, some people don’t believe this image is real.

“In some ways I think this photo, and others like it, force people to think about the environment and more specifically in this case the ocean, dwindling fish populations the health of marine ecosystems worldwide and our role in it all.”


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