You probably learned about it elementary school, but seeing it in real life is an entirely different experience. Hundreds and thousands of fish pulse together in what appears to be a synchronized, underwater dance, with flashes of colors bursting against the dark background of the ocean. In what looks like an improbable fluke of nature, the fish move together as one, creating an unbelievable show.
Fish swimming in schools, like those in the video below, is not only a breathtaking sight for snorkelers and deep-sea divers, but also serves a functional purpose for these water animals.
According to How It Works, Fish are genetically predisposed to function as a group. In fact, this collecting of fish minds reduces stress, offers protection and provides a more successful feeding pattern.
Researchers have shown that fish in schools, rather than shoals (loose groups) work in a more synchronized fashion, which requires the fish to sense their environment and track their position within the group, according to Huffington Post.
Researchers compared the school-swimming pattern to other animals, like birds, that also move in harmony.
"Some of the most incredible sights in nature happen when animals form into groups and move together as if choreographed," James Herbert-Read, a PhD Student at the University of Sydney, told Science Alert.
This synchronized swimming provides a breathtaking show for those lucky enough to witness it. If you are interested in catching this natural phenomenon in person, SportDiver suggests hitting Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, Lanai, Hawaii or Raja Ampat, in Indonesia.