Oh it is back. Our favorite vegetarian run amok and causing headlines to explode. It seems every six months or so a pacu is found in a lake or river and freaks people out with its “human-like teeth, piranha-like good looks, and notorious tendency to bite testicles. This time it was a California anglers who caught one in a pond in Petaluma, California, about 40 miles north of San Francisco. Problem is that the testicle part is false.
As Fish Nerds have pointed out, it was Peter Resk Moeller, of the Natural History Museum of Denmark, that cracked a joke to a reporter about male nude swimmers and the fact that pacu eat nuts. The reporter did not get the joke and it led to the story “Swedish men told to beware testicle-munching fish”. Well that went viral (duh), and Moeller admitted he was joking.
There are many species commonly called pacu from eight different genera. The are not the best for aquariums. They grow huge and can survive in North America if released. People don’t like them in Buffalo Springs Lake in Texas where there is a $100 bounty on pacu.
The story is features the one myth that will not die and they did not set the record straight. The story also reports that the pacu cut the angler’s line. Probably not. Pacu teeth are more for grinding and crushing than cutting. We don’t doubt the line broke, but we don’t buy that it snipped with its dentures.
Our favorite parts of this story
- ” a South American freshwater fish said to take bites out of men’s genitalia in Papua New Guinea “
- “their presence in places such as Sweden has prompted warnings against swimming nude”
- “are capable of cracking open tree nuts,”