U.K. goldfish goes viral after mysteriously found on doctor’s lawn “seconds from death”

A doctor in the United Kingdom went viral after he awoke to something mysterious lying on the grass of his backyard – a live goldfish. With “no ponds anywhere near,” the fish’s sudden appearance left him perplexed, and the story has taken social media by storm. 

“So today I found a goldfish just on the grass in my back garden. It was alive, I think, and have absolutely no idea where it came from,” Ben Beska posted on X over the weekend. ” There’s no ponds anywhere near. So I took it inside.” 

The post, which has amassed 23.6 million views as of Monday morning Eastern time, went on to say that the fish was, in fact, alive.

Beska told CBS News partner BBC that he spotted the fish after he looked out at his garden and saw a group of magpies, one of the most common birds of the region.

“It’s pretty mad really, finding a fish on the lawn. I have no idea how it got in the garden,” Beska said, saying that the fish started “flapping” and he “couldn’t just leave it.” He believes the fish was “seconds from death.” 

He took the fish inside and placed him in an old freezer drawer filled with water. 

“It started to swim around so it was alive,” he told the BBC. “I locked my cats out of the kitchen, obviously, I didn’t want them to eat it, that would have been a terrible end to the story.” 

The 33-year-old cardiology doctor from Newcastle, England, said he plans to keep the fish as a pet and named it Alice after he texted about the discovery to a friend and the message autocorrected from “it’s alive” to “it’s Alice.” The fish, he said on social media, will also be known as “Lazarus, aka The Fish Who Lived.” He has since purchased a proper fish tank for his new companion. 

The internet has seemingly fallen in love with Alice and the story. Someone unaffiliated with Beska even created an X account for Alice, @alicebeska, that has engaged in numerous conversations with the doctor. After Beska posted one video showing Alice in her new tank, the fish’s account responded, “ew this is not my best angle,” prompting the doctor to jest back, “shut up Alice or you’ll be back out on the lawn.” 

But where did the fish even come from? Many speculate it must have been dropped by a bird. Beska did see the group of birds right before he found the fish, but according to Ark Wildlife, fish aren’t exactly a magpie favorite. The company said that magpies mostly eat insects, small mammals, other birds, worms, mollusks, berries, grains and nuts. However, they are also known to be scavengers. 

While Alice’s true origin remains a mystery, Beska is working to make this “lucky fish” feel right at home. 

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