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Posted by on Oct 29, 2012 in Fishing, Safety and Seamanship, Top Picks, UK, US |

Five Killer Fish: These Species Are Deadly

It may surprise you, but when any one of these five killer fish are around, swimming is a bad idea. (Insert “Jaws” music here).

If you enjoy fishing or swimming, resist the temptation when any of these five killer fish are around –or bodily harm could be in your future. These may not sound like killers and they aren’t on most of the top-10 dangerous lists but when you realize what they’re capable of, you’ll understand why a little fear can be a good thing.

killer fish

This clear-fin lionfish is beautiful... and potentially deadly, if you didn't know any better.

1. Gooch and Guangdong Catfish

Yes, the lowly Mr. Whiskers can be a natural born killer. Two types of cats have become known killers. Living in the Great Kali River between India and Nepal, the Goonch has been blamed for three human deaths since 1998. Scientists theorize that the fish became accustomed to eating human flesh because of local tradition; people burn corpses on funeral pyres over the river, allowing the 150-pound-plus fish to feast. The Guangdong Catfish, meanwhile, which lives in Furong Reservoir in Husad, China, is another killer cat. In 2007, a monstrous nine footer was found – with human remains in its stomach.

2. Everglades Bull Sharks

What list of killer fish would be complete without a shark or two? None, but you already know about great whites and tigers, right? The bull sharks of the Florida Everglades, however, might be a different story. These sharks average 80 to 100 pounds, but much bigger ones do swim in these waters. And the really surprising thing is that they’ll travel up into completely fresh waters. Note to self: don’t put your fish on a stringer when you go wade-fishing in the ‘Glades.

3. Lionfish

Forget about boarder fences and self-deportation, we have an illegal alien in the Atlantic that flaunts immigration policy altogether. These tropicals-turned-invaders have been found as far north as New York in the past few years, in a major-league expansion of their Caribbean habitat. They have venomous spines that will sting and, if left untreated, can even be fatal.

4. Barracuda

No, we’re not talking about the way they attack things that flash. Although a 14 year-old was attacked by ‘cuda in Florida in 2010 (and required 41 stitches), these fish rarely bite at humans. Humans biting barracuda, however, is problematic. Though it only causes a handful of deaths, ciguatera poisoning (which can be caused by eating barracuda found near coral reefs) affects tens of thousands of people every year.

5. Candiru

Even though an encounter with this fish isn’t necessarily deadly, if you have one you might wish you were no longer alive. Winning the number-one prize as the scariest fish on the planet, this South American slitherer, which is found in the Amazon River, follows urine trails until it reaches the source—and then it burrows inside. After wiggling its way up the urethra, hook-like spines in the head keep it lodged in place. Let a candiru get this far and surgery will be required. Yes, this is for real—Google Candiru if you don’t believe us!!

-Lenny Rudow