Fish of the Week 1 – Terrifying toothpick fish

The Amazon rainforest is a hive of all things weird and wonderful. Such diversity of life is sure to serve up something interesting for us to explore.

Now. I’ve heard rumours of a fish that when you pee in the river, takes its chance and swim up you man pipe and/or lady garden. Amazingly this is true!

The candirú is a small catfish which lives in the gloom of the muddy Amazon. It’s parasitic in nature and normally, lies in wait until it detects a faint hint of urea that are expelled from the gills of respiring fish. It small size and near translucent body help it to sneak up and then attack the host where it hooks in position and uses its teeth to access the bloodstream and gain a tasty meal.

Unfortunately for humans, although not a usual target, the candirú isn’t a fussy eater and a plentiful blood supply seems to be the only determining factor!

When it does invade a human host it does exactly the same as it would in a fish. Unfortunately its usually a one way trip. After feeding the candirú is so engorged it can’t reverse back the way it came and the only way out is expensive surgery of some strange folk remedy of herb which dissolves the fish…lush.

Morale of the story, don’t pee in the Amazon.


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