As much as 35 tons of dead fish appeared in a lake in southern China, leaving residents stunned.
As reported by CNN, the piles of fish washed up in a lake in Hainan province on Wednesday, Chinese state media reported.
Locals expressed concerns on pollution, but local authorities said the fish died as a result of salinity change.
The fish floated to the surface of the Hongcheng lake, located in the Hainan island, China’s southernmost point. The government is investigating the cause of their death, but experts speculate that it might be due to fluctuations in the water’s saline levels, reports China Daily.
The change in salinity levels likely occurred after a tide pushed the fish up farther into Hongcheng Lake in the city of Haikou, state-run People’s Daily reported.
Regional environment officials are still investigating.
It’s unclear what kind of fish it was, according to People’s Daily. It described it as the size of a half palm, saying residents had not seen that type of fish at the lake before
Dozens of sanitation employees worked for hours to trash the fish, to prevent it from being sold to consumers.
According to a tweet by China’s state newspaper, the workers cleared more than 20 tons of fish in five hours.
— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) May 4, 2016