The GLoomis rod company’s slogan is “Fear no Fish,” which is fine when you’re dealing with species like salmon, trout, steelhead and bass. But, there are truly some fish out there you should fear. Some will eat you; others will sting or bite you to death. And one will even swim up inside your very sensitive body parts!
Here are some of the fish you need to stay away from…
So, the next time you’re out wandering around the Great Barrier Reef at low tide and you step on what appears to be a sharp rock…look again. You’ve probably just accidentally impaled yourself on the extremely venomous spines of one of the world’s most deadly fish — the stonefish.
These ambush predators look a lot like rocks and use that camouflage to help them catch prey. If you still have your wits about you, take a closer look and you’ll notice a row of 13 spines along the fish’s back. Of course, by now the excruciating pain and tremendous swelling is probably all you can think about…
Depending on how well you stuck yourself, you may experience weakness, temporary paralysis and shock….and, oh yea, maybe even death. Our best advice: get to the doc immediately!
Reason #1 not to swim in the Amazon (as if you really needed one): The Candirú. While he’s only a few inches long, this little relative of the catfish can bring a world of hurt.
Attracted to urine and blood, the candirú can find its way into your bathing suit and then, um…how shall we say this…uh, swims “upstream” through any opening in the body (and I’m not talking anything above the waist here!). Once in “there,” he erects his spine to hold himself in place and goes about his business — which just happens to be feeding on blood and tissue. YEEEEEOOOOOWWWW!
In most cases, you’ll have to have this little bugger removed surgically…which can’t be a whole lot of fun, either.
And speaking of no fun…
The escolar may look harmless enough…and indeed, he can’t do much to you in the water. It’s what happens when you eat one, however, that makes the escolar truly a fish to fear! You see, eating the flesh of these fish can cause explosive, oily yellow or orange diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache and last but certainly not least, anal leakage. Yikes!!
The escolar is a type of snake mackerel that cannot metabolize the wax esters naturally found in its diet. These esters are called gempylotoxin, and are very similar to castor or mineral oil. This is what gives the flesh of escolar its oily texture — and it’s nickname “Ex-Lax Fish.”
Supposedly, you can eat small portions of the fish (and it’s said to be very tasty) without gastronomical disaster, but I think I’m gonna pass!
Be careful out there…escolar is often called “butterfish,” “oilfish,” or “waloo/walu” in markets and some sushi restaurants will serve it as “super white tuna” or “king tuna.”
After hearing about the Candirú and Escolar, dealing with a bull shark almost sounds like a better option…until you consider that these toothy monsters are one of nature’s most perfect predators, and are highly unpredictable. What makes them super creepy is their ability to swim in both fresh and salt water.
In fact, Bulls have been caught in the Mississippi River as far upstream as Illinois!! Growing to nearly 12 feet in length, these grumpy buggers are responsible for more unprovoked attacks on humans than just about any other shark on the planet.
You’re starting to have a difficult time seeing and it feels like you’re going to puke. Then, you can’t see a thing and speaking becomes a chore. In a matter of moments, you’re paralized and taking a breath is next to impossible. And the really bad news is you may be dead in a few minutes.
What the heck happened?
Technically speaking, Tetrodotoxin is coursing through your blood stream, causing motor paralysis and, sometimes, respiratory arrest…which, of course, can lead to a heart attack.
In layman’s terms, you’ve just been bitten by a blue-ringed octopus and, hate to bring this up but, there’s no known antidote.
Obviously it’s a good idea know where all your appendages are when you’re messing around in shallow reefs and tide pools from northern Australia to Japan!