“Fish Tube” Salmon Cannon Is the Latest Internet Meme You Need to Know
Sockeye or Red Salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka, Horsefly River, British Columbia.
Photo by: Mark Conlin/VW PICS/UIG via Getty Image
By Logan Mahan / August 12, 2019 1:55 pm

Oh how quickly the internet moves from one species to another.

You may or may not remember the 30-50 feral hog meme that was all over the internet for a whopping (maybe?) two days last week. The hogs were all Twitter could talk about after a user responded to musician Jason Isbell’s tweet about not needing to own an assault weapon, and asked, “Legit question for rural Americans – How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?” The absurdity of the context inspired jokes and feral hog-related remixes, but because the modern lifespan of a meme is declining so rapidly, it was gone as suddenly as it had arrived.

And now it’s been replaced by a brand new animal-related meme that will most likely be another flash in the pan, or should I say, fish in the tube.

Last week, Cheddar tweeted out this video of a strange device in action, with the caption, “This salmon cannon transports the fish between bodies of water.”

The video shows men loading salmon, one by one, into a small, claustrophobic tube through which they travel over land and then plop into another body of water at what looks to be a very fast rate. It is absurd and evokes a sort of chaotic energy and relatability that makes you also want to be shot through the fish tube — which, of course, makes it primed for internet virality.

The Verge actually reported on the fish tube back in 2014, referring to it by its actual, somehow even sillier name, The Whooshh. It was originally designed to transport fruit, but because of hydroelectric dams that blocked salmon migrations in Washington state, Whooshh Innovations thought that maybe they, bear with me here, had bigger fish to fly.

Five years later they had tubes for trout and salmon, and after tests occurred the Roza Dam in Washington state, the fish were doing pretty well. Now the tubes are being used to curb heavy carp invasions in Mid-west waters and cut back on netting large groups of trapped carp, the New York Times reported back in June.

All in all, the fish tube is a pretty wholesome meme, much more so than the killing of feral hogs. While the meme won’t last long, there’s now hope that salmon will — and may we all continue this slippery journey through the fish tube that is life.