Half a Billion Magikarp Caught During 'Pokémon Go' Event

Half a billion Magikarp Credit: The Pokémon Company/Glixel

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

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

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.