Pacu fish look like piranha when they are not very old. It’s the reason why this bizarre fish is feared, especially among men. Dubbed as “testicle eaters” and “nutcrackers,” pacu fish have human-like teeth powerful enough to crack nuts.
These invasive species have been reported in lakes and other bodies of water in Europe. Their sightings in these areas have put men swimmers on alert. But do they attack humans and bite genitals? Here’s what experts say.
Freakish fish with human-like gnashers have earned the the fearsome nicknames of ‘testicle eaters’, ‘nut crackers’ and ‘ball cutters’.
The bite of a pacu fish is powerful enough to scare men into taking a dip in some parts of the world. These fish look like they are swimming with dentures. They have even rows of teeth inside their mouth designed for chewing just like humans.
Due to their impressive set of teeth, the pacu fish chomp is powerful enough to leave blokes taking a dip in some parts of the world fearing an unwanted castration.
Sheepshead fish also look like they are swimming with dentures in with even more rows for chewing but it is the pacu, native to South America which boasts such a chilling reputation.
Despite its natural habitat being in the waters of a distant continent, sightings in Denmark and even Seine river in Paris, France over the past decade have put Brits on alert.
As they are legal to own as pets it has been feared that pranksters would decide to release them into the likes of reservoirs, lakes and rivers across the UK to give wild swimmers a nasty surprise.
Fortunately though there have been no reports of Brits suffering the painful fate of the pacu’s powerful bite which unlike flesh-hungry piranha, is designed to crack into seeds and nuts that drop from trees into the water.
The nickname of pacu fish does not come from a desire to feast on the male genitals, but rather a case of mistaken identity. Pacu fish includes nuts from fallen trees in their diet and use their teeth to crack them open.
Some believe that pacu fish might have mistaken testicles for fallen nuts and decided to attack them. On the other hand, experts said that this is only a myth.
Lars Skou Olsen, curator of Copenhagen’s Blue Planet Aquarium clarified that the pacu fish having alleged taste for testicles is just a rumor. Zeb Hogan, a fish biologist and National Geographic explorer, further emphasized that these species do not harm humans but could be dangerous to ecosystems.
Hogan warned that “it is illegal to release exotic species like pacu,” so those keeping them in aquariums should educate themselves. Pacu fish could grow so fast and easily outgrow aquariums.