How Fish Farts Almost Caused a Diplomatic Accident but Founded the Most Liberal City in the World

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Their flatulence has been the origin of many conflicts. However, the one that almost caused a diplomatic accident between Sweden and Russia was the gases of a very specific type of fish: Herring.

This fish with a bland flavor usually communicates with farts (a finding that earned the award of an IgNobel Biology in 2004 ), which caused that frying noise to be confused with a submarine crossing a delicate border space in the Baltic Sea over the years of the Iron Curtain. Fortunately, herring is also behind the foundation of the most liberal city in the world, where prostitution, soft drugs and euthanasia are regulated.

Herring

In 1994, an unidentified suspicious noise caused concern within the Swedish government. The prime minister even wrote a letter to Boris Yeltsin to ask for explanations: everything indicated that it was a Russian submarine in Swedish waters. However, they were only herring throwing farts .

How Fish Farts Almost Caused a Diplomatic Accident but Founded the Most Liberal City in the World

And is that some types of herring use gases to “talk” between them without alerting other fish . When the fish is blown away, the bubbles that emanate emit a high frequency sound that is only audible to those of its kind. In fact, the army had classified ventos that came from several animals (whales, seals, walruses); only that nobody expected the herring to be able to produce such sounds.

The study of this unique system of communication deserved an IgNobel , (a play on words between the Nobel Prize-winners and the ignoble word in English), an award that rewards “those achievements that can not or should not be reproduced” and that seek more the hilarity than the scientific discovery itself.

How Fish Farts Almost Caused a Diplomatic Accident but Founded the Most Liberal City in the World

Magnus Wahlberg and Hakan Westerberg , from the Coastal Research Institute of Sweden, concluded that these flatulences of the Clupea harengus species do not come from the process of digestion but from the swim bladder: they recorded the gas outlet and discovered that it was a periodic gorgeo, with a duration of between 32 and 133 milliseconds, and it was issued in series of 7 to 50 repetitions.

The herring, however, has not only been in the midst of a diplomatic conflict and has led to the granting of an IgNobel to two Swedish researchers, but also favored the founding of the most liberal city in the world . Well, it was not exactly the herring, but a very small thing with an almost unpronounceable name that was found in its bowels. It’s a long story, so you can see it in the following video:

 

Source: Xataka Ciencia