We all know this famous scene in Disney Pixar’s masterpiece, Finding Nemo. However, I believe that the idea of fish being friends may not be quite right as there are many a monster in the fish world. In this post I will my top ten most dangerous fish in the World.
Ten: the pufferfish
The puffer, also known as blowfish, is any member of a group of about 90 species that makes up the family Tetraodonitae. This family is noted for their ability to inflate themselves when they feel threatened. Puffers can be found in any warm or temperate waters and. They have tough, usually prickly skins and fused teeth that create beak-like structures. The largest can grow to about 90 cm, but most are considerably smaller. What makes this fish so dangerous though is that it is poisonous and has a high concentration of tetradontoxin in its internal organs. That said, it is considered food in some parts of the World!
Nine: the red lionfish
The red lionfish is a native of South Pacific reef ecosystems. The venom of the red lionfish, which is delivered via an array of up to 18 needle-like dorsal fins, is for defensive purposes only. This predator relies on camouflage and lightning-fast reflexes to capture its prey, which mainly consists of fish and shrimp. A sting from a lionfish is extremely painful to us humans and can cause nausea and make it difficult to breath, but is rarely fatal.
Eight: the candiru
A species of parasitic freshwater catfish in the family Trichomycteridae, the candiru is native to the Amazon Basin and is found in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. These fish are the very definition of how size isn’t everything as they only grow to a length of about 1 inch. The candiru feeds on blood and is commonly found in the gill cavities of other fishes. It is sometimes known to enter the urethras of bathers and swimming animals, which is how it is earns its reputation. Once inside its host, it erects its short spines on its gill covers and this may cause inflammation, haemorrhage and maybe even death to the victim.
Seven: the great white shark
I bet this entry doesn’t surprise you, right? It is a worthy inclusion to this list as it is the second largest shark on Earth (after the docile whale shark). Great whites are truly ferocious hunters and masters of ambushing unsuspecting prey. The thing is though, their prey isn’t humans, but seals and seal lions. These sharks normally only attack humans out of curiosity or confusing us for their natural prey. They may also attack humans if their regular prey is scarce. However, it is easy to see why humans fear these sharks so much when you see them in action.
Six: the moray eel family
Moray eels are a family of about 200 species of eels worldwide. The smallest moray eel is probably Snyder’s moray, which attains a maximum length of 4.5 inches, while the longest species, the slender giant moray reaches up to 13 ft. The largest though, in terms of total mass, is the giant moray eel, which can reach 9.8 ft in length and 66 Ibs in weight. Though not our predators, moray eels are capable of delivering a very painful and strong bite. What makes moray eels particularly dangerous to humans, particularly the giant moray and yellow-edged moray, are how they are known to accumulate high levels of ciguatoxins. Ciguatera poisoning is characterised by neurological, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular problems. In morays, the toxins are most concentrated in the liver and, in an especially remarkable instance, 57 people in the Northern Marina Islands were poisoned after eating just the head and half of a cooked yellow edged moray. In short… DON’T EAT THESE EELS!!!
Five: the giant devil catfish
This catfish, otherwise known as the goonch, reaches up to 6.6 ft in length and weighs over 200 pounds. It may be largest species of the Bagarius genus. It is found in South Asia and was made famous by Jeremy Wade of River Monsters who discussed the Kali River goonch attacks, which were a series of fatal attacks on humans supposedly perpetrated by man-eating goonches in three villages along the banks of the River Kali between 1998 and 2007.
Four: the bluespotted stingray
Stingrays are one of the most common groups of fish responsible for human envenomations. This is largely because many species of ray bury themselves on the sea floor where people accidentally step on them. Stingray venom is generally cardiotoxic. The bluespotted stingray, which is native to the Indo-Pacific Ocean, is one of the most venomous species of stingray. Its venom contain serotonin, 5′ nucleotidase and phosphodiesterase. As a form of warning, the bluespotted stingray, like many other venom potent animals (see poison dart frogs), is vibrantly coloured. The ray has a very long tail that accommodates two venomous spines on the base of the tail. Its tail is about twice as long as its body and the ray has a barb that is approximately 12 inches long.
Three: the great barracuda
Found in subtropical oceans around the world, the great barracuda is what would the result if a torpedo and a piranha had a child. Its mouth is filled with wicked-looking 3-inch teeth and these monstrous fish can reach up to 6 feet in length and weigh over 100 Ibs. A barracuda attack could sever tendons, rip off horrifyingly large amounts of flesh and kill you in a matter of seconds. Deaths have in fact been confirmed in the Eastern United States, which sets this fish apart from many other carnivorous fish who are only suspected of killing people. The Great Barracuda is a living torpedo, studded with wicked-looking 3-inch teeth. These fish may reach up to 6 feet in length, and weigh over 100 pounds. Great barracudas are attracted to shiny metal objects, and will attack vulnerable creatures or sources of agitation. You have probably been terrified of this true sea monster for years and never quite known why. Let me show you why.
That’s right, this beast killed Nemo’s mum! A barracuda attack could sever tendons, rip off horrifyingly large amounts of flesh and kill you in a matter of seconds. Deaths have in fact been confirmed in the Eastern United States, which sets this monster apart from many other carnivorous fish as most are only suspected to have caused human deaths.
Two: the bull shark
Meet the real deadliest shark on Earth, the bull shark. The bull shark can be found in warm waters worldwide. Though the great white shark is bigger and has a reputation for being vicious and powerful hunters, the bull shark is more deadly for two reasons. Firstly, these sharks are extremely aggressive in nature and is easily provoked, making it more dangerous than any other kind of shark. Secondly, these sharks can survive in saltwater and freshwater meaning that there is literally no escaping them. One or several bull sharks may have been responsible for the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916, which were the very thing that inspired Peter Benchley to write the novel, Jaws. The speculation of bull sharks possibly being responsible is based on two fatal bites occurring in brackish and freshwater. The bull shark is also responsible for biting swimmers around the Sydney Harbour inlets. The vast majority of these bites were previously credited to great white sharks. In India, bull sharks swim up the Ganges and have bitten bathers. Many of these bite incidents were attributed to the Ganges shark (a critically endangered river shark species), although the sand tiger shark was also blamed during the 1960s and 1970s.
One: the reef stonefish
This carnivorous fish can be found primarily above the Tropic of Capricorn. It is the most widespread species of stonefish and can be found from the shallow, tropical waters in the Pacific and Indian Oceans from the Red Sea to the Great Barrier Reef. It is the most venomous fish on the planet and, due to its remarkable camouflage, the most dangerous fish to humans as it is not uncommon for a poor sole to step on these fish and get a dose of lethal venom injected into them.
So there you have it, my top ten most dangerous fish. I will say though that there are a lot of fish that deserve honourable mentions and I thoroughly suggest you look them up. They are:
- The pacu
- The giant sawfish
- The payara
- The goliath grouper
- The wels catfish
- The giant freshwater stingray
- The electric eel
- The alligator gar
I hope you guys enjoyed this post and please feel free to challenge any of the additions to this list or to just comment on this post or any of my other posts.