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Testicle-eating fish in European waters: a warning to keep your trunks on!

Now there’s a blog post title you don’t read every day. Without wishing to alarm people, you (or at least approximately half the population) might like to be aware that a small, piranha-like fish called the pacu – but also referred to as the ‘ball-cutter’ owing to its reputation for biting off men’s testicles – has been found in European waters. The fish is in fact related to the piranha but its teeth are very different – more like a human’s, in fact, than the pointed, razor-sharp teeth of piranhas. It also has a crushing jaw that is capable of breaking up seeds and nuts (please forgive the pun!). Fish with a nasty bite Although traditionally found in South America, and common to the Amazon and Orinoco basins, last month a Scandinavian fisherman retrieved a 21-centimetre pacu from the Øresund Sound between Sweden and Denmark. This prompted the National History Museum in Denmark to advise swimmers in the Sound to keep their swimwear on. Furthermore, this week the fish has been found in the River Seine, according to a newsletter from the Paris Prefecture of Police. Although not normally a danger to people, the pacu can grow up to 90 centimetres in length and weigh as much as 25 kilogrammes, and its fearsome reputation for biting off male genitalia has even allegedly caused some men to bleed to death. So, next time you’re going for a dip – particularly if it’s in the Seine or the Øresund Sound – you may just want to bear this in mind…

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. Wow that that is a real ballsup. I mean really, that is completely nuts. They should just invite Chuck Norris to go for a swim and I am sure he will bite the fish’s nuts off.

  2. Ewww those teeth look like mine!! Could I have a set from a fish when all mine fall out? It’s actually really freaky, the resemblance is scary!

    But why do they go for mens testicles? Why not their toes? lol

  3. “has even allegedly caused some men to bleed to death.”

    Now that’s really really scary, what a graphic image this article has given me.. Nevertheless great article, thanks for sharing!

  4. The fish in the picture looks like it’s wearing false teeth! It’s actually got a better set of teeth than me! I wonder what toothpaste it uses?

  5. I watched a show that investigated this fish. It was the plant eating cousin of the Piranha, the Pacu. It was introduced into the waters on the Amazon to help boost the poor amount of fish for the natives. It became predatory ironically because it ate all the aquatic plant life where a lot of other species hid and hatched, causing those species to die out, then,with no enemies it became a meat eater, and literally mutated the teeth and dietary needs. Sooo weird how the teeth are so human in appearance, ugh.

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