The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Wed July 27, 2011

Goldfish Survive New Zealand Earthquake And 134 Days Without Food

Here's an incredible story of survival from New Zealand: Two goldfish, named Shaggy and Daphne after characters from Scoby Doo, survived the 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand in February and then after authorities declared the area off limits, they were trapped in their office tank for 134 days without food or a working tank filter.

The AP reports:

"It's certainly an incredible story. I wouldn't have guessed that fish could survive on their own for four months," said Paul Clarkson, curator at the Monterey Bay aquarium in California. "Goldfish are very hardy critters."

Luckily for the fish, they lived in a large 26-gallon (100-litre) tank and had seaweed to munch on. According to Clarkson, the fish may also have gleaned some nutrition from eating algae growing on the tank's rocks and walls. He said naturally growing bacteria may have helped keep the water clean enough to sustain life.

But like every tale of amazing survival, there's always some dark side that goes with it. Six fish were originally in the tank; two were found alive; one was found dead and there was no trace of the other three.

Goldfish are omnivores.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.