As with the coming of Fortinbras, Denmark is once again facing threat of foreign invasion. Except this time around it’s not a fictional Norwegian prince so much as a species of fish related to the piranha and that likes to go after peoples’ testicles. Yikes. I think we can all agree that fratricide and incest would be way more preferable.
Fisherman Einar Lindgreen was hard at work in the Oresund Strait, which lies between Denmark and Sweden, when he found what appeared to be a red-bellied pacu from South America. Like the piranha, the pacu is a toothy fish from the Amazon that’s popular with exotic breeders — except pacu generally use their creepily human-looking teeth to crush nuts and fruit. So you can sort of see why they have a tendency to go straight for the, erm, nuts of potential human victims. In Papua New Guinea, an invasive species of pacu even castrated a bunch of local fisherman.
While it’s entirely possible that the pacu came to Denmark of their own accord after hearing all those stories of its melancholic prince being bound up in a nutshell, it’s much more likely that they were dumped into the river from personal aquariums or tanks. They can grow to weigh as much as 55 pounds at maximum, so they don’t exactly make for good pets.
Scientists from the University of Copenhagen still aren’t quite certain of which pacu species they might be dealing with, but did have a bit of advice for potential swimmers and/or insane women who spend too much time near the river: “Anyone choosing to bathe in the Oresund these days had best keep their swimsuits well tied.” You hear that, Ophelia? Keep those flower chains nice and tight. You’re trying to drown, not get chomped to death by a bunch of exotic fish.
- Still not as horrifying as those guppy genital claws
- This puts our electric eel species into sharp perspective
- Danish people are a pretty weird bunch