A fish with HUMAN teeth? This is what a fisherman in Russia claimed to have captured after reeling in a most peculiar sea animal.
Aleks Korobov was fishing at Arkhangelsk Oblast district’s Northern Dvina River when he caught the creature.
At first the 50-year-old was convinced he’d hooked an ordinary bream.
Said Korobov, “I opened its gills which were nice and red, but I noticed the mouth wasn't right for a bream. [W]hen I opened [the mouth], I nearly dropped the thing in surprise.”
The fisherman found that his fish had human-like teeth.
It was such a bizarre find that when the startled man tried to convince his friends what he’d captured, none of them believed him.
“We know Aleks can tell some tall tales but when he came in and said he had a fish with human teeth we thought he'd certainly been drinking,” quipped Ppal Anton Efimov, one of Korobov’s good friends.
“But then he got it out and we were totally shocked! None of us had ever seen anything like it in our lives.”
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So did Korobov capture some mutated fish or reveal the existence of a cryptid?
While the discovery is an unusual one, scientists have weighed in with a less than extraordinary explanation.
An autopsy of the fish was performed at the Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography. There it was confirmed that the animal was indeed not a bream fish as initially thought.
Instead, the experts agree that the fish is a “member of the Piranha family”.
Before you run screaming into the night, you should know that it's not THAT kind of a piranha.
The scientists have identified the fish as an herbivore. "[It's] not one of the meat-eating ones you see in films,” explained industry expert Gennady Dvorykankin.
Yes, there are vegetarian piranhas:
As for this particiular fish, experts believe it's probably a pacu.
The pacu is a fish that originally hails from the tropical waters of South America that's slightly larger than your average piranha and with differing teeth.
With the fish identified, that leaves the question of how the heck a South American tropical fish ended up all the way in Russia.
“It is very unlikely that it made its way from its natural tropical waters to our Arctic and then into the river," Dvorykankin said.
"We can only assume it was dumped by an owner of exotic fish.”