Sure, we all made jokes when the Pacu, an exotic fish species with an unusual (and apparently false) reputation for biting at people’s junk, was found in a Denmark River recently. But now one has been discovered in Passaic, New Jersey, just 15 miles outside of New York. We don’t think it’s funny anymore. Everybody stop laughing.
The pacu in question was found by a fisherman at the Third Ward Veterans Memorial Park in Passaic on Saturday. As you’ll remember, they’re often bought as pets but can grow up to 50 lbs and 4 feet in length, so they get dumped into rivers far away from their South American origins and left to fend for themselves. This one was only 10 inches, which is still way bigger than we want our exotic pointy-teethed sometimes-carnivorous fish to be.
There is some good news, though — apparently reports of the Pacu’s supposed desire for testicles had been greatly exaggerated, and pacu are much more likely to go for nuts and fruit than they are for, well, your nuts and fruit. However, while New York’s collective testicles might be getting a reprieve, the pacu is still a piranha relative and really likes to bite things a whole bunch. For example, last year the Scottsman reported that a pacu at the Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World clamped down on a toddler’s finger so aggressively that she needed surgery to repair the wound. So be careful just in case, we guess?
The whole thing is probably moot anyway, as pacu are also not well-equipped for cold-water climates and will definitely die out once winter his the Tri-state area. In the meantime, if you do find a pacu where it’s not supposed to be, don’t go messing with it. And you should probably keep your pants on just in case.
- We fell for the testicle ruse too at first, sadly
- Apparently coelacanths are monogamous maters
- This anglerfish has the worst superpower ever