You think you know salmon? Maybe you have probably ordered them from a restaurant or had your friends over while you grill Alaska Halibut with them during the weekend.
You may even know about how nutritious and what a healthy food they are. How salmon help reduce your odds for heart ailments, give your skin some youthful sheen, boost your brain power, and even help you grow strong hair.
But there are things you may never have known about this versatile fish. Do you know how they got their distinct pink color? Can you count off the different salmon species without batting an eyelid?
Now, you see there are other amazing and fun facts about this fish you don’t know, and we are going to bring them to your notice with this post, so enjoy:
They are anadromous
There are only a handful of anadromous organisms on this planet and salmons are one of them – This means they can live off fresh body water like rivers and streams and also survive in salty waters.
Spawned in fresh waters where they hatch and spend few months of their lives before heading to the vast expanse of the ocean.
To understand why this is an incredible feat most other aquatic lives are either exclusively salty or fresh water. If you take a freshwater fish into the salt water, it will die, because its cells will shrivel and if you put a sea fish into the fresh water, it will die because its cells will burst.
So you see, salmon don’t just swim into freshwater, they undergo significant physiological changes to adapt.
An average salmon travels a distance equivalent to a marathon every single day
Now, that is what we call endurance and to think they go this distance every single day of their life.
They always return home
Regardless of how far these fishes drift from their home water, they always find their way back.
There are many opinions as to how they can accomplish this. Some think it is due to their strong sense of smell. To paint a picture of how strong their sense of smell is a salmon can perceive a drop of scent in a large pool of water, as large as ten Olympic-sized pools.
There are others with the opinion that, it is due to the earth magnetic field. The fact is, no matter what means these fishes utilize to accomplish this feat, it is truly astonishing.
Their distinct pink color came from their diet
Not their DNA but food. Salmon feed on small bait fishes that in turn feed on algae and yeast that are high in an antioxidant called astaxanthin. This carotenoid accumulates in salmon and turns them into the distinct reddish pink color we know.
Almost all salmon die after spawning
One weird thing about salmon is that they die off after spawning. This death is as a result of the energy draining journey back home. They stop feeding once they enter freshwater. Instead, it seems they are just waiting to die closing out their cycle.