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Nature & Environment Testicle Eating Killer Fish ‘Pacu’ New Threat in Swedish Waters

Testicle Eating Killer Fish ‘Pacu’ New Threat in Swedish Waters

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First Posted: Aug 13, 2013 05:50 AM EDT
Pacu Fish
It's not sharks you should be worried about in Scandinavia. Instead, you should be concerned about the fish. Officials have recently announced that Pacu, a fish similar to a piranha, is targeting skinny dippers--for their nuts. (Photo : Henrik Carl/, University of Copenhagen.)

Pacu, a scary South American fish resembling a piranha was discovered in Danish waters, terrorizing summer revelers.

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A pacu with sharp protruding teeth was caught August 4 by hobby fisherman Einar Lindgreen in the Strait of Oresund that separates Denmark and Sweden . Pacus are not as dangerous as their meat- eating cousins, the piranhas, but are known to have a preference for men's testicles..

"Discovering whether this fish is a lone wanderer or a new invasive species will be very exciting. And a bit scary. It's the first time this species has been caught in the wild in Scandinavia," says associate professor and fish expert Peter Rask Moller of the National History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen.

Officials have warned men to not go skinny dipping, reports the University of Copenhagen.

Initially, pacu fish were believed to be herbivores. But they are known to eat smaller fish and have sharp teeth capable of severing fishing lines. They have been declared as an invasive species in most parts of the world. They are mostly confined to fish farms and aquariums

Pacu is a South American freshwater fish that is related to the piranha. Due to its habit of biting human testicles it is also referred to as the 'ball-cutter'. They use their teeth for crushing fruits and nuts. They are sold as 'vegetarian piranhas' to aquarium owners. They are introduced into the wild by hobbyists and the fishing industry. Pacus can weigh as much as 25 kilograms.

But the scientists are baffled as to how this fish land in Scandinavian waters. They assume that it escaped from the recently established ' Blue Planet' aquarium in Denmark,  as it is located next to Oresund. Or it could be from some illegal trading.

The toothy fish can be dangerous. In Papua New Guinea's Sepik River two fishermen were brutally attacked by pacu and they bled to death due to severe injuries to their genitals. In another incident a pacu leaped from the tank to bite the owner's fleshy nose. They were also caught snacking on a toddler's fingers at Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World, Scotland.

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