Batticaloa Hotels

Singing Fish of Batticaloa

Singing Fish of Batticaloa

Plenty of people do not believe in the existence of the singing fish which is supposed to live in the Batticaloa lagoon. Skeptics are not convinced that they are real. Many believe that that they are made up and completely fictional.  The city of Batticaloa is most popular for being home to these magical singing fish. The fish have a unique capability which only they can create. They are believed to be able to generate musical sounds which no other fish in the world is able to do. It creature is described as a musical fish. Witnesses who have claimed that they have heard the musical notes produced by the magical fish said that you would only be able to hear them during midnight hours. They explained that they journeyed to the lagoon during the dark of the night and was able to hear their soft sounds.

After the devastating tsunami which had hit Batticaloa, many believe that the fishes’ existence was affected. Some believe that they still exist but have just relocated to different areas of the lagoon. However, after the tsunami there were still plenty of witnesses who claim that they could still hear them singing. Travelers, enthusiasts, skeptics and researchers were all interested in hearing the magical singing of the mythical Singing fish. For many years, they have tried searching at the exact same spot near the Kallady Bridge. It was there that witnesses heard them several years ago. However, everyone got disappointed when they weren’t given the privilege of hearing the magical sounds. They all returned disappointed.

Although it may seem like there’s no other way to search for the singing fishes, there is actually a better route to take. If you embark on a guided tour with local tour guides or a hotel that provide this service, there is a higher chance that you’ll get lucky enough to hear them. People who have never been to the Batticaloa lagoon don’t have any clue as to where the fishes are located. Local fishermen have experienced it themselves while sailing during the dark of the night fishing trips. It is believed that during the mating period of the singing fish, the males produce a sonorous singing sound which aims to attract females to be their partner. Many believe that the fish uses its gas filled bladder which keeps them buoyant to produce the humming sounds. Once the muscles located on the sides of the bladder contract, they vibrate against the bladder’s walls. As a result, it creates a vibration in the surrounding water.

Researchers believe that there are two types of male singing fishes. The first type is the males which produce a humming sound to attract their female counterparts. The second type is called sneaker males who do not produce any humming sound. They sneak into the singing males’ nests hoping to fertilize the female’s eggs. The singing males are not only capable of making singing voices. They can also create grunting and growling noises which they use to defend their nests from sneaker males. Tourists usually take a boat ride in the Batticaloa lagoon. They use the orthodox method which is placing the end of the oar into the waters while the other end is placed in on the ear.

Reverend Father J.W. Lange, Harold Webber and G.I Cook have all witnessed the singing fishes’ magical sound. It was Reverend Father Lange who taped the music and sent it a Jesuit priest’s mother who lived in New York. Her occupation was a music teacher so she was able to translate it into musical notations. Her work was published in the Royal Asiatic Journal. One of the most prominent people who testified for the fish’s existence is Sir Emerson Tennent. He served at the House of Commons as an M.P in 1845. He wrote a book called Ceylon where he wrote, “I honestly heard the sounds of the singing fish. It wasn’t a sustained single note. It was a multitude and combination of tiny sounds. Each sound was distinct and clear. I would describe it as the sweetest treble combining with the lowest bass. I could distinctly hear their music from underwater. It was like the twanging of a G string in thirds on the violin.” Lord Soulbury, Sri Lanka’s former Governor General, also testified about the existence of the Singing fish of Batticaloa


Boat Tour that takes you to witness the Singing Fish of Batticaloa

The boat tour is a completely informal and relaxed excursion which is done specifically to experience the magical sounds of the singing fish. It is usually done in a span of one hour where you’ll surely have an unforgettable experience. You will be provided a life vest to ensure safety while on board. We are very knowledgeable about the location of the singing fish as we have experience it ourselves. We will take you to that exact spot and hand you over an oar for you to listen to their beautiful sounds. While putting the oar’s end in the water, hold its rounded angle close to your ear. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to enjoy their clicking, whirring, buzzing and occasional high notes which serve as their mating song. Thousands of tourists come to Batticaloa each year to witness the existence of the singing fish.

Recently, we took our friend who is a scientist to the boat tour. We weren’t aware that he was very skeptical about the fish’s existence. He truly believed that it was only a myth which locals came up with to increase tourism. After the tour, our friend told us that he was able to pick up at least five different sounds from underwater. He performed further research regarding his findings and found out that the myth is actually real. The singing fish releases air from their swim bladder. This is how they are to generate sounds and attract females. Don’t miss out this exciting opportunity to get firsthand experience of Batticaloa’s singing fish. Join us in a romantic evening boat tour and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere around you. Discover for yourself the truth that the singing fish really does exist.

Rate per person: 1,500 RS. (Minimum of 2 persons) Package rate for Families: 4500 RS. Time: 10PM onward

Type of Boat: Engine Boat – 4 strokes (maximum of 8 adults)

Duration: 45-90 minutes

Click the link below for booking and inquiries

*We cannot guarantee that you’ll be able to hear the singing fish. It will all depend on weather conditions and other external factors. The audibility is normally much higher when there are clear skies and if the tour is done between a full moon.

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