SAN FRANCISCO—Many reports indicate that fish have been failing from the skies over the San Francisco area. Reports began on social media when residents posted about how their roofs were littered with anchovies assuming the loud thumps they heard on the top of their homes was just a result of heavy rain. 

According to scientists this could be the result of an increase in the anchovy population. This population boom is an abundance of food for predators like seagulls and other marine animals. 

“The water temperatures right now do appear to be colder than normal, and this has provided some much-needed food for animals such as anchovies, seabirds and marine mammals,” says Adam Ratner, associate director of conservation education at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito.

Scientists explained that the reason why so many anchovies are ending up on land is because a bird like a seagull will pick up a fish with its beak but will realize it is too full to eat anymore and will drop the fish out of its mouth while it is in mid-flight. 

This phenomena isn’t expected to last much longer as water temperatures rise. The rise in temperature will kill off many of the anchovies and the remaining school will likely migrate elsewhere. 

A similar phenomena transpired back in 2017.