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The Evolution of the Stick-On Fish


In the beginning, there was the fish. Modeled after a secret symbol used by early Christians, the raised-metal stick-ons became fruitful and multiplied into the freeway's most popular emblem of faith.

From that evolved the Darwin stick-on, a fish with small feet. Then various other mutations appeared: an "Evolve" fish carrying a little wrench; a shark; a dead-Jesus fish skeleton; an "Alien" fish (with a UFO-style bubble on top); and, for Jewish drivers, a gefilte fish.

More recently, the Internet started documenting the fish war rivalry (

Now, the battle has taken a new twist. In an apparent attempt at Christian natural selection, a Northern California company is marketing a plaque that tries to make the Darwin stick-on extinct. It shows a Jesus fish swallowing a Darwin fish.

"We call it Truth eating Darwin," says Rik Harnden of 3-D Witness Enterprises in El Dorado Hills. The idea came from a Christian bookstore clerk in Orange County whose identity is a mystery but who is entitled to 2% royalties if he or she comes forward, Harnden says. (Tens of thousands of the item have been sold since it debuted in June 1996.)

Meanwhile, the Darwin side has no counterparody planned.

"I think [the Truth fish] is very funny," says Chris Gilman, inventor of the Darwin stick-on. "I don't think there's a need for a response."

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