The Humming Fish of San Francisco Bay Hum & Glow for Mates

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Cartoon: a wide-eyed glowing fish in the dark green waters of the Bay. Caption reads, "did you know the bay is home to fish that hum so loudly you can hear them on land?! Oh, and some can also glow!"

Yes, you read that right and, no, I'm not talking about the Humming-Fish of Dr. Seuss' Lorax fame.

There are real, live fish that hum in shallow waters of the Bay — and places like Bolinas Lagoon, where I heard them a few years ago while on an overnight surfing outing.

The ugly (to some) little males of porichthys notatus species, also known as the Plainfin Midshipman, have developed the neat trick of humming and glowing to attract mates.

People have described the sound of their humming as ranging from that of an electric razor to a loud airplane engine.

(The ones I heard sounded more like the incessant drone of an attic fan.)

For a short while there was even the Sausalito Humming Toadfish Festival, complete with marching (kazoo) bands and Plainfin Midshipman on display.

Now, without further ado, I give you a humming fish humming . . .

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