Can fish get seasick? A German scientist now claims to have at least a partial answer to this timeless question.

According to Dr Reinhold Hilbig, a zoologist from Stutgart, fish exposed to a steep dive will lose their sense of balance.

While studying the effects of weightlessness in water to learn more about how humans are affected in space, Dr Hilbig sent up a mini aquarium with 49 fish in a plane that went into a steep dive. Steep diving is a way of simulating loss of gravity; the kind of loss astronauts are exposed to during space travel.

During the steep dive, eight of the 49 fish started to turn around and around in circles.
“They completely lost their sense of balance, behaving like humans who get seasick,” says Dr. Hilbig. “The fish lost their orientation, they became completely confused and looked as if they were about to vomit. In the wild such a “seasick” fish would become prey for others because they are incapable of fleeing from danger.”

When the aeronautic adventure was over, the eight circle-swimming fish were culled and their brains were examined to investigate the exact cause of their behaviour. Dr Hilbig says the loss of eye contact with water movement and vibrations probably played a large part in their disorientation.

Here at AC Tropical fish we would very much like to know what a fish looks like when it looks as if it is about to vomit. If you have any pictures, please send them to and we will post them here on the blog.