Since the 1940s, African freshwater tigerfish have been rumored to jump from the water and snatch birds flying above. But for the first time ever, this rare act has been caught on film. You might have to watch the video a few times to catch it — but once you see it, you can’t unsee it. It’s especially surprising because the bird in the footage is a swallow — famous for its speed and agility.
“The whole action of jumping and catching the swallow in flight happens so incredibly quickly that after we first saw it, it took all of us a while to really fully comprehend what we had just seen,” Nico Smit, director of the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management at North-West University in South Africa, told Nature. “The first reaction was one of pure joy, because we realized that we were spectators to something really incredible and unique.”
While conducting their research at South Africa’s Mapungubwe National Park, near the border with Botswana and Zimbabwe, Smit and his team saw about 20 successful fish-on-bird attacks each day.
Because nature is amazing.