Half a Billion Magikarp Caught During 'Pokémon Go' Event

Shiny new variant makes the unloved floppy fish the most popular critter of the moment

Half a billion Magikarp Credit: The Pokémon Company/Glixel

During the most recent "Water Festival" event for Pokémon Go, developer Niantic managed to turn the flawed, weak and most unpopular Pokémon – the lowly Magikarp, which people often use as a cheeky insult when they leave it guarding a gym – into the hottest catch of the season. So popular, in fact, that players collectively caught more than half a billion of them.

The event, which wrapped up last week, gave players access to more of the lowly water-type critter, and then gave players a very good reason to go chasing after them: the Magikarp became the first and (currently) only Pokémon in the game that now also comes in a highly-coveted (and extremely rare) shiny variant. These uncommon shinies change a Pokémon’s entire look, and because they have different markings and colors than "normal" Pokémon, it's completely obvious when you eventually get your hands on one.

A shiny Magikarp isn’t just cool because it's so rare though. When it evolves into its more powerful Gyarados form, it retains its unique coloring – becoming what’s known as the red Gyarados, a Pokémon that was an important part of the of Pokémon Gold and Silver storyline.

Now that we all love Magikarp again, enjoy this bonkers music video that celebrates its inadequacies.