Ever been skinny dipping? There’s something exhilarating about gliding through the water in nothing but your birthday suit. But if you’re in Sweden or Denmark, now’s not the time to try it. A frightening invasive species related to the piranha has suddenly been spotted in the Danish/Swedish strait of Øresund. At just about 7 inches long, the pacu has a mouth full of powerful, crushing teeth, and it loves to nibble on stuff that happens to be, uh, floating through the water. Animal experts in the region are warning the boldest of male swimmers to keep their delicate parts under wraps to avoid a nasty accident.
Editor’s Note: CNN reports that the story was a joke that got out of hand. Full details here.
For wildlife experts, the first order of business is figuring out just how the fish, native to the Amazon, found it’s way into the Øresund Strait, which seperates Denmark and Sweden. According to a press release, “some have imagined that it escaped from the recently established The Blue Planet – Denmark’s Aquarium. This Copenhagen attraction is situated right next to Øresund and gets its water from there. But that is flat out impossible assures curator at The Blue Planet Lars Skou Olsen.”
“We do exhibit Pacus in our Amazonas exhibition, but ours are a lot larger than the one caught. And even though the distance between our aquariums and Øresund can be measured in meters there are sophisticated filters in place to avoid contamination. So this is not one of our fish,” assures Olsen.”
Now it’s up to experts to determine whether the pacu caught by fishermen was a lone renegade or just the first of a growing invasion.
Images via The Natural History Museum of Denmark