Horror films help people learn about dangerous aquatic animals – bloodthirsty white sharks, giant whales, aggressive Nile crocodiles, piranhas.
Indians living near the Amazon have known since childhood that they cannot urinate while drowning in a river. These are not superstitious or religious customs. The danger is caused by very small – only 2-3 millimeters of fish catfish Candiru (Vandellia cirrhosa).
They parasitize the blood of larger fish. Catfish are oriented according to the smell of ammonia emitted by the gills. As the fish breathe, they enter through the gills, settling in the blood.
The fish do the same to man. Urinary ammonia lures this parasite. Man does not even feel how that fish enters the genitals and penetrates the circulatory system, feeds on blood, and multiplies. Once inside, the catfish swells and increases several times.
It can only be scraped off after surgery. Worst of all, a surgeon cannot guarantee that the genital function will be preserved during surgery.
A person who has eaten an improperly prepared dish of the fish fugue, which the Japanese call sashimi, will die faster. Only cooks who have acquired special education and have studied it for more than two years are able to make a suitable dish from this highly poisonous fish. One fish fugue has enough poison to be enough for 20-30 people.
Poisoned people die in terrible suffering. Poison is found throughout the body of the fish: liver, blood, intestines, and even the skin. So far, there is no effective antidote. However, the Japanese use about one and a half thousand tons of this fish for food every year. Sometimes meals are prepared at risk by self-taught people.
In the Middle Ages, a chef who wanted to get a master’s name had to make a dish from fugue and … eat it himself. Surviving, he was given the right to cook from a fugue. Despite strict controls, more people died from the poison of this fish in the 16th century than were killed in wars between them.
However, when as many as 175 people died in 1958 from improperly prepared sashimi, the training of specialist chefs in the country was greatly tightened. The fish fugue is also called a sharp belly or even a fish – a dog, although its shape is not similar to a dog. They are a really gorgeous jewel of the oceans.
The blue stripes on top and the white belly make them bright, colorful, charming. Fugu has no scales, but at the bottom, her body is overgrown with spikes that resemble sandpaper. The mouth of these fish is small but full of disproportionately large, human-like, sharp teeth. With them, the fugue easily bites off the armor of crabs, cuts off the hooks of fishermen, and can carelessly bite a finger. In case of danger, the fish-dog immediately swells, becoming like a soccer ball.
The spiny belly is flying fast, but it is able to float its tail forward! This is a rare feature of an aquatic animal. Fugu breeds in the Atlantic, the Pacific, as well as some large rivers.
Poison heals Why do people eat such dangerous fish? What does it entice gourmets? Some people are said to be enticed by games with death. Fugu poison – tetrodotoxin is up to 50 times stronger than potassium cyanide. However, small doses of them that remain in the meal cause indescribable narcotic euphoria. In addition, the poison tetrodotoxin, cleverly dosed, is also used as a medicine. It is used to treat the thyroid gland, it is used as an analgesic in patients with cancer, smallpox. Also used in patients with neuralgia, arthritis, rheumatism.
An experienced chef must know how much poison is present in each part of these fish, as they are not evenly distributed in how to gut and prepare this fish. Its taste is quite attractive. When preparing a dish, the chef must also take into account the age of the customer, his health.
Toxins can be left in the dish to the point where the customer is in a great mood and at the same time helps him get rid of any ailment that the poison eliminates. But if the chef gets a little wrong – after six hours his client may die.
Another fish that is not recommended for sailors to encounter is the winged striped. It is often referred to as zebra because of its appearance. This fish does not move somewhere in the shadow of the coral on the seabed, slowly waving its long, ornate, shining fins. It is easy to support in a colorful bouquet of aquatic vegetation.
Such an omission can be costly. Feeling the danger, the winged stripe protrudes its sharp, poisonous thorns in the blink of an eye. Although a slight tap of such a needle causes a great deal of pain to a person. He may lose consciousness. The punctured site swells and dies. The pain begins to subside slightly after a few hours and only goes away after a week.
If a diver dives several thorns, he may immediately lose consciousness, be paralyzed. Repeated exposure of the winged thorns to a person acquires immunity. However, such “attempts” are better avoided.
Master of camouflage Another hard-to-notice and very insidious inhabitant of tropical waters is the Synanceia verrucosa. These fish, about 40 centimeters long, lurk careless sailors in the Red Sea, India and the Pacific.
They are repulsive – the head is irregularly shaped and the mouth and eyes are directed upwards.
The skin of these fish is soft, ugly – as if covered with warts. The distinctive feature of these fish is the ability to camouflage perfectly in the environment. They are very difficult to spot even in shallow water. The short and long needles with which these fish are armed are hidden in the dorsal fins and appear only when touched.
Some needles have grooves like snake teeth. They carry poisons produced by special glands. The Synanceia verrucosa spikes are very stiff, strong, they can pierce even the thick soles of divers’ suits. The poison of these fish causes people pain, from which one can even go crazy, lose consciousness. Painful swelling and breathing problems occur at the puncture sites. If no help is given, a person may be in a coma after five hours.
If a prickly puncture hits a larger blood vessel, death can occur even earlier. But even the survivors are usually sick for a few more months. These poisonous fish are eaten by people in India, on the island of Samoa, in New Guinea. Before that, their skin is peeled off and the spikes of deadly poison are removed.