Threat Of Testicle-Chomping Fish Overblown, Say Scientists

Threat Of Testicle-Chomping Fish Overblown, Say Scientists

The pacu is a South American fish with a taste for nuts, and though it's recently been discovered swimming in Denmark's rivers, there's no need for swimmers to fear for their family jewels.

Meet the pacu. This fish is native to the Amazon River, and as with all aquatic creatures from that region of the world, it's developed some terrifying adaptations. If you looked at that fish and thought to yourself, "that's looks like a piranha," then congratulations, you have a good eye for piscine genetics. The pacu is quite similar to the piranha, only instead of razor sharp teeth, the pacu has developed a mouth-full of grinding tools used to crush the nuts and berries that fall into its aquatic habitat. Problematically, these fish aren't terribly discriminating, and have earned a reputation for occasionally chomping on swimmers' testicles, having mistaken them for something a bit less fleshy. Amazon locals have even nicknamed this fish the "ball-cutter."

Go ahead. Cringe. That is the appropriate response here.

Recently pacu were discovered swimming in Denmark's waterways, which immediately caused a fearful outcry from everyone with external genitalia. The good news is that even those of you who regularly swim in Denmark's rivers aren't in much danger.

"All we said last week (with a smile) was that male swimmers should keep their pants on in case there are more pacus out there in our cold Baltic waters," said Peter Rask Møller of Denmark's University of Copenhagen. "Its teeth and powerful bite can for sure be dangerous, but to meet one here and is highly unlikely, of course."

And now for the bad news: Despite most reports focusing on the pacu's introduction to Denmark, this fish has slowly developed a global presence. Exotic pet stores have been selling the pacu for years, and when introduced to non-native waterways, the pacu can very quickly become a dominant force in the food chain. There have been confirmed pacu sightings in 31 different US states, ranging from Alabama to Washington (though the majority seem to be centered in the Southeastern United States). Texas has even instituted a $100 bounty for any anglers who manage to catch and present a pacu.

Does this mean Americans should stay out of the water? Not at all. As with Denmark, your odds of bumping into a pacu are extremely low, and as long as you remember to keep your pants on it will be exceedingly difficult for a hungry pacu to remove your ability to reproduce. If you do find one however, keep in mind that no less a personage than former President Teddy Roosevelt described the pacu as a "good-sized, deep-bodied fish," which made for "delicious" eating.

So remember: If a pacu comes after you with hunger in its beady little eyes, do what millennia of evolution bred you for and eat the lil' fella first.

Source: National Geographic

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That's one of the things I love about this site: the staff posting bizarre shit because they feel like it.

And yet another species becomes invasive because some idiot thought it would be a good idea to 'let it run free.' Or rather, a whole lot of idiots. My desire for skinny dipping has gone from nearly negligible to negative amounts.

Get a pet. Set it free. Ecological destruction!

The three steps of human idiocy that will destroy entire ecosystems. Heck Australian is a giant desert for that very same reason.

Though even with shorts I am not that certain it won't hurt like a bitch! You won't lose the ball, but damn if you ain't hunched over for a few days.

Moral of the story: If you want a pet, get a dog. Or a cat. Or a goldfish. Or a hamster, if you must. No matter how cool they are, exotic pets require zookeeper levels of responsibility, and if you can't take care of one, it's not as simple as "releasing them into the wild" to get rid of it.

Well chain mail bikinis finally got their day to shine ...
And you silly people were all like "boo hoo they don't protect from anything", Ha!

It really is funny how the Pacu are just now getting attention, since this very fish was the showcased on Animal Planet's "River Monsters" back in 2011 (River Monsters: Season 3, Ep 1).

The pacu is quite similar to the piranha, only instead of razor sharp teeth, the pacu has developed a mouth-full of grinding tools used to crush the nuts

Strangely I don't feel comforted by those words.

Tahaneira:
My desire for skinny dipping has gone from nearly negligible to negative amounts.

Tell me about it as if the thought of the cold water on your unprotected manhood wasn't bad enough, now it appears the fish are prepared to bite them off if they don't freeze off first :P

A moment of silence for all the scandinavian balls that were lost this year.

I still think the Candiru is a little bit scarier. If you've never heard of it, then please do yourself a favor and keep it that way, you don't want to know.

Dr.Awkward:
Moral of the story: If you want a pet, get a dog. Or a cat. Or a goldfish. Or a hamster, if you must. No matter how cool they are, exotic pets require zookeeper levels of responsibility, and if you can't take care of one, it's not as simple as "releasing them into the wild" to get rid of it.

Sadly, even zookeeper levels sometimes aren't enough. Recently there was a case of a python that escaped from it's cage in a shop, it made it's way to the floor above and killed two kids.

OT: Why do water creatures have to be so damn terrifying?

No. This article is wrong, wrong, wrong.

The threat of testicle biting fish CANNOT be overblown.

As long as the EXISTENCE of testicle biting fish continues, there should be alarm klaxons installed next to every body of water everywhere.

-Dragmire-:

image

It's not like I wanted to go swimming ever again anyways.

Also, SEXISM IN FISH FORM!

Because that's what these forums seem to be all about these days.

They are in the states as well.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/07/pacu-testicle-eating-fish-illinois-lake_n_1656015.html

It isn't safe in the water anymore.

Mr.K.:
Well chain mail bikinis finally got their day to shine ...
And you silly people were all like "boo hoo they don't protect from anything", Ha!

[imagines a man in a chainmail bikini]

WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

Note to self, start wearing a cup when I am in fresh water, sure they state the chance of encourting the Pacu is low but I am not taking that chance!

You can be sure that somewhere there are people protesting in order to preserve this vile aberration.

Wintermute:
A moment of silence for all the scandinavian balls that were lost this year.

I still think the Candiru is a little bit scarier. If you've never heard of it, then please do yourself a favor and keep it that way, you don't want to know.

Not only did I have to learn about a testicle eating fish today, I also learned about the existence of a urethra parasite fish. Why???

Like I needed a reason to stay out of the water. I'm glad we occupy a different plane of existence, them and I.

I can't believe those fools who released these fish into the wild. Those balls are on their hands!

lacktheknack:

Mr.K.:
Well chain mail bikinis finally got their day to shine ...
And you silly people were all like "boo hoo they don't protect from anything", Ha!

[imagines a man in a chainmail bikini]

WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

Well there are always the chainmail hotpants, banana hammocks, and speedos if you prefer.

OT:

I kind of want to find out if any of these are in Canada. I've never fished with a berry on the end of my hook, but I could give it a shot. To say nothing of any equivalent bounty we might have, or the following dinner.

ShirowShirow:
No. This article is wrong, wrong, wrong.

The threat of testicle biting fish CANNOT be overblown.

As long as the EXISTENCE of testicle biting fish continues, there should be alarm klaxons installed next to every body of water everywhere.

I agree, who in the name of the Golden Throne thinks that the horror of testicle biting fish think's this is overblown!? I'm calling in Deathwatch to deal with this threat. *pulls out his rosette*

OT: *shudders* Great, yet another reason for me to hate mother nature... spiteful woman she is. I'm sticking to pools from now on. God I hate nature.

aelreth:
They are in the states as well.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/07/pacu-testicle-eating-fish-illinois-lake_n_1656015.html

It isn't safe in the water anymore.

Just once I'd like to skim the comments comfortable in the knowledge that everyone leaving their thoughts had actually read the article they're reacting to.

When it comes to invasive fish, this is my favorite kind:

Seriously, the 2nd time the guy gets hit it looks like someone off-screen just throws a fish at him. Yeah, they're a complete pain in the ass and very destructive to the ecosystem, but I still find them to be hilarious. :P

Earnest Cavalli:

aelreth:
They are in the states as well.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/07/pacu-testicle-eating-fish-illinois-lake_n_1656015.html

It isn't safe in the water anymore.

Just once I'd like to skim the comments comfortable in the knowledge that everyone leaving their thoughts had actually read the article they're reacting to.

There have been confirmed pacu sightings in 31 different US states, ranging from Alabama to Washington (though the majority seem to be centered in the Southeastern United States). Texas has even instituted a $100 bounty for any anglers who manage to catch and present a pacu.

But...but...but that's about 2/3rds of the way through the article! You can't HONESTLY expect us to have THAT big of an attention span!

Seriously, we're talking about a forum where the average reader sees a post half the size of this article and says LOL TL/DR!!!

Yanno, I played an educational game called Amazon Trail (basically think Oregon Trail with a boat, 90s graphics, and a talking jaguar. And yes, you can die of dysentery). I played it so much that I actually knew it was a Pacu before I even read the article.

But I guess the point is that if you're feeling terrified of these fish, you can play the game and harpoon and eat as many Pacu as you want.

RJ 17:
But...but...but that's about 2/3rds of the way through the article! You can't HONESTLY expect us to have THAT big of an attention span!

Seriously, we're talking about a forum where the average reader sees a post half the size of this article and says LOL TL/DR!!!

I know. I'm a jerk for expecting basic literacy. Sorry. Won't happen again.

Raggedstar:
Yanno, I played an educational game called Amazon Trail (basically think Oregon Trail with a boat, 90s graphics, and a talking jaguar. And yes, you can die of dysentery). I played it so much that I actually knew it was a Pacu before I even read the article.

But I guess the point is that if you're feeling terrified of these fish, you can play the game and harpoon and eat as many Pacu as you want.

I LOVED that game. It was exceedingly 90s, but in a way that made it the highlight of the day whenever my elementary teacher decided she had enough of actually working, and instead just plopped the whole class in front of the library's new Macs.

I think even one of these fish is one fish too many.

Heh, when us Aussies go for a swim we have an army of creatures ready to bit, sting, stab and otherwise kill us, quit bitching about a small fish, as they say wear some shorts and you'll be fine (you hope).

-Dragmire-:

OT: Why do water creatures have to be so damn terrifying?

Kalezian:

image

Oh hey! I remember a Sea Lamprey being caught in New Jersey recently!

If you go swimming in Danish creeks, you have more reason to be concerned about broken glass, sewage and bits of sharp metal. I suppose a chainmail bikini might be suitable, but not because of the fish.

 

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