PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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I’m basically wondering if this is a glitch or something like that or if it's a normal game mechanic.

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where did you catch the Gyarados?

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This is normal
According to this site, if you're surfing on Lake of Rage, you can find a Gyarados anywhere between lvls. 15-20, you must've been doing this, otherwise yes it is a glitch. This happens a few times where you can get a Pokemon that's higher or lower than the evolution it should have evolved at, such as finding a level 30 Magikarp.

Source: This website

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If you like this, could you click the green checkmark please?
It makes sense because the radio waves from team rocket was what caused the magikarp to evolve earlier than normal and become angry.