People were immediately fascinated by the fish contraption, and they’ve quickly capitalized on the bizarre flying-fish machine.
“pack my body in the salmon cannon and shoot me into the sun. i want to be among the stars,” someone said, realizing the fish cannon’s ultimate potential.
Comedian John Oliver reminded everyone that he made his own version of the cannon on an episode of “Last Week Tonight” in 2014, when he “wooshhed” salmon onto Jon Stewart’s desk at “The Daily Show.”
It doesn’t hurt the fish, the CEO says
What does the man behind the fish-flinger have to think about his contraption’s viral fame? “It’s sort of been outrageous how long this has taken to catch on.”
Whooshh Innovations CEO Vince Bryant said the video, created by streaming news network Cheddar, was stitched together with footage dating to 2014, when its first cannon was sold.
The first system required workers to hand-feed fish into the tube to bypass the dam, but today’s version lets fish swim into it themselves, he said.
The salmon are propelled by the differential pressure between the front and the back of the fish and sent into the flexible tube that expands to their size. Once inside, the fish are misted with water to keep them breathing. And within a few seconds, they’ve splash-landed on the other side of a dam, he said, where they can safely reach their spawning grounds.
“There’s no stress for the fish,” he said. “It should be a comfortable ride for them.”
The company’s sold 20 of its salmon cannon systems — which are much cheaper than traditional fish ladders, Bryant says — to government agencies across the United States and Europe. The longest one it has built was more than 1,700 feet, more than a quarter of a mile, he said.
“People think it’s crazy,” he said. “This is the real deal, guys. This is not some internet video thing.”