Did you see the black blob in the ocean near Cherry Grove? Here’s what it could be

Did you see the black blob in the ocean near Cherry Grove?  Here’s what it could be

A large black blob spotted in the ocean near Cherry Grove has raised questions as to what it could be.

There were theories of it being waste being dumped from a boat or a whale footprint, but it was most likely a school of menhaden fish. Menhaden fish, also called pogies, are a schooling fish found in the Atlantic Ocean near the coast, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Menhaden fish tend to swim near the surface of the water in large and tight schools, which can appear black from afar.

A large school of menhaden were spotted off the coast of Cherry Grove.

Due to a lack of storms, the ocean water in Myrtle Beach has been particularly clear and blue. This makes it easier to spot the school of fish.

If it’s not menhaden fish, it could be a different kind of schooling fish forming a bait ball. A bait ball is a tactic used by fish when they are in open water and sense a predator nearby. Since there’s no where to hide, they form a massive ball, making it more difficult for predators to attack, according to the Smithsonian.

If you see a bait ball, make sure to avoid the area as it could mean sharks or other dangerous fish are nearby.