Goldfish goes viral after mysteriously turning up on U.K. lawn

Alice the goldfish is living the good life after being rescued from a lawn in Newcastle. @beska /

A junior doctor in the U.K. found himself in a bit of a fishy situation this weekend after he discovered a live goldfish hanging out on his lawn.

Dr. Ben Beska, a cardiology doctor from Newcastle, said he went out into his yard on Saturday after a group of magpies began making a noisy commotion.

Out on the grass, he discovered a small white and orange fish.

He snapped a picture of the stray fish and uploaded it to social media, not knowing the post would cause such a splash.

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“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,” Beska posted to X.

“There’s no ponds anywhere near. So I took it inside.”

As of Monday, the post has been viewed almost 24 million times, thanks to the algorithm pushing it into what seems like every human’s stream. He later updates that the fish was indeed still alive — a fact he confirmed after he it inside and placed it 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.”

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He’s since bought a proper fish tank for his new pet and named it Alice, after a text to a friend introducing the animal autocorrected from “it’s alive” to “it’s alice.”

It’s likely that Alice was dropped from the sky by a bird that scooped up the fish from a nearby freshwater source – perhaps a backyard fish pond or local lake — but that hasn’t stopped X users from having a fin-tastic time making guesses and jokes about Alice’s origins.

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“Goldfish are biennial so you probably only just noticed it growing this year,” joked one person.

“Have you tried to kiss it to see if it turns into a princess or Japanese fish goddess?” another quipped.

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And, of course, an unaffiliated person even started Alice their own X account, engaging with Beska on the platform. After the owner posted video showing Alice in her new tank, the fish’s account responded, “ew this is not my best angle,” prompting the doctor to tease, “shut up Alice or you’ll be back out on the lawn.”

Beska told BBC he usually uses social media “for medical stuff,” so to see the interest in his fish mystery has been a bit “bonkers.”

“It’s been quite funny, some of the comments are quite funny and about 1,000 people said they thought a bird dropped it.”

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He said he plans to buy a bigger tank and possibly another fish so Alice has a friend.

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