Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Headline writers are having a ball: the testicle-eating fish is back in the news!

One headline reads:
Nude swimmers warned of GONAD-GOBBLING FISH ON THE LOOSE ('Testicles sit nicely in their mouth' expert tells Swedes)
Another:  Skinny Dippers in Scandinavia Told to Beware of Nut-Munching Fish

Another:  Jaws — with a ‘nutty’ twist

Men and boys in Scandinavia are being warned not to go skinny-dipping because the testicle-chomping pacu, a fish dubbed the cousin of the piranha, has been spotted in a body of water that separates Sweden and Denmark.

Nicknamed "the ball cutter," the pacu's mouth is not large, and "it normally eats nuts, fruit, snails and small fish, but human testicles are just a natural target," said Henrik Carl from the National History of Museum of Denmark.

Locals in Papua New Guinea say two fishermen died after a pacu bit off their testicles.

Actually, the warnings about not going skinny dipping seem more lighthearted than real. Lars Skou Olsen, curator of Copenhagen's Blue Planet Aquarium, said that the pacu's predilection for private parts is overblown and probably not even true. "I think it's just a rumor," Olsen said. "There's no need for swimmers to worry at all. They will be lucky if they see [a pacu]."

It seems there's scant evidence that the pacu finds human scrotal meat to be a tasty delicacy -- it's just an urban legend ginned up by newspaper writers who can't get enough penis and testicle stories. Now we can all get back to worrying about the thing that's always been a much bigger threat in the water: drowning.

Sources: 
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/08/130813-pacu-piranha-testicle-biting-fish-invasive-species/

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/08/13/211628062/beware-the-pacu-experts-tell-european-men-who-skinny-dip

http://www.counselheal.com/articles/6347/20130812/authorities-warn-swimmers-scandinavia-pacu-fish-will-eat-balls.htm