comScore Tigerfish Can Leap out of the Water to Swallow Birds | The Mary Sue
Skip to main content

Video of Flying Tigerfish Proves They Are as Scary as They Sound

Don't go into the African fresh bodies of water (especially if you are a defenseless little barnswallow).



Because a meter-long African fish with sixteen razor-sharp teeth wasn’t already horrifying, video footage has been taken for the first time proving that the freshwater tigerfish find their hapless prey in the sky as well as underwater. Monsters of the world, shots have been fired.

Although rumors that the piranha-like tigerfish was capable of launching itself out of the water to gobble barnswallows and other unfortunate things (people? Please say not people) above the water’s surface have circulated since the 1940s, a recent expedition by a team from North-Western University was the first to collect proof of the flying fish.

In what is the first documentation ever of freshwater fish catching birds in flight, the team observed over twenty incidents of lake-jumping action, and returned from their expedition with video footage (which can be seen here) to back up the rumors.

In a study published by the team in The Journal of Fish Biology, they describe the tigerfish catching their flying prey using two distinctive tactics: either lying in wait directly below the surface for a distracted bird, or propelling themselves up rapidly from the depths like a terrifying beast and into the air upon sighting a possible victim.

Regardless of how they do it, we must bow down to the tigerfish for mastering domination over air, water, and our nightmares. RIP adorable little barnswallows everywhere, may the wind be ever at your wings.

(via I Fucking Love Science, photo credit via Paul Stainthorp)


Meanwhile in related links


Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue: