While there are plenty of vegetarians and vegans out there (shoutout to our plant-eatin’ brothers and sisters!), for the most part, humans are omnivores. And even though we share this dietary preference with many other animals, there are some key differences.
For instance, unlike our wild animal friends, humans almost always cook their meat before consuming it. (We technically don’t have to, but for health reasons, it’s generally a good idea). As such, whenever we’re about to prepare a delicious meal, we usually assume that our food is already, well… dead.
While preparing a bowfin for dinner, this woman and her family were surprised to see there was more to this fish than they had originally thought. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that bowfins are a kind of prehistoric fish and full of mysteries…
What happened next was like something straight out of a science fiction movie. The fish in question was very much dead. Or, at least, it was supposed to be. Heck, it had even been decapitated and scaled! Nothing could survive that, right?
Then, just when the woman was showing off the cut of meat to the camera, something strange happened. It was enough to make anyone scream in terror, not to mention reconsider ever eating fish—or meat in general—again!
Just watch for yourself. Before you swear off eating fish for the rest of your life, be sure to listen to the couple’s explanation of why this strange phenomenon was occurring. It actually makes a lot of sense once you hear it!
Bowfin are called a variety of names, including cypress trout, grinnel, griddle, dogfish, mudpike, choupique, and mudfish. It’s important to note that, despite their prehistoric ancestry, they’re actually highly evolved.
Fæ / Wikimedia Commons
Although fossil deposits for this species have been found in both North and South America, as well as Asia, Africa, and Europe, they’re now almost exclusively found in southeastern Canada and the eastern United States.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / Flickr
Despite the fact that they are, indeed, edible, few anglers consider bowfin to be particularly desirable. In fact, they used to be considered a nuisance, since as predatory fish, they were believed to be responsible for harming the population of sport fish.
Howcheng / Wikimedia Commons
During that time, efforts were made to actively reduce the bowfin population, but since it was proven that bowfin can be beneficial to the balance of their ecosystems, they’re now better protected by regulations.
Joshua Raabe / Flickr
It wasn’t that long ago that bowfin weren’t considered valuable on a commercial level because their meat was considered bland. Now, however, good chefs have proven that, if cleaned and cooked properly, they can be quite tasty!
Whether or not you’re fishing for them or eating them, there’s no question that these are absolutely fascinating animals. That said, what this one bowfin did is enough to freak anyone out.
Fishing is a hobby that countless people enjoy. While you can absolutely catch massive fish if you know what you’re doing, for most people, fishing is about taking a time out from a fast-paced life to sit and think.
In fact, fishermen wait so much that when they do get a tug on their lines and reel in a big catch, there’s no other pay-off like it! Fishing requires a ton of patience, but those who are willing to wait reap major rewards.
For those fishermen who have a lot less patience than their diehard counterparts, there are places like the Amazon River, which offers up a slew of aquatic creatures in a hurry. That’s why so many people head down south to see what they can catch.
The Amazon River has plenty of unique fish, but they also have animals like snakes and gators. Just take a look at this enormous serpent! While the wildlife of the Amazon River is certainly beautiful, it also makes for some creepy encounters. Just ask a man named Steve Townson…
Professional fisherman Steve Townson was not only a world-renowned angler, but he spent a lot of time on the Amazon River looking for the biggest and baddest fish around. Just look at him here! When dealing with the river’s murky waters, you have to be fearless.
The fish of the Amazon grow to tremendous sizes. It literally took three grown men to hoist this catfish out of the water. Even though catfish are harmless, it would still be a startling experience to suddenly come face to face with something that big.
One afternoon, Steve and a small crew of fisherman packed a boat full of fishing supplies and headed out onto the river. Steve had plenty of experience in the Amazon, but on this particular day, he was about to encounter something that would seriously test him.
As they drove, the water was shallow, and Steve knew the only fish they would find if they stopped were piranhas. As interesting as piranhas were, Steve was on the hunt for something more exotic…
After about an hour, the crew arrived at an opening in the river where the water was much deeper. There were sure to be plenty of creatures swimming nearby, and Steve was ready for ’em. However, as time passed, neither Steve nor his crew members had any luck. It was time to travel elsewhere…
The crew slowly steered the boat down the river. Steve sat in the front and carefully watched the waters around him. He had a good feeling about this particular area, so his crew stopped the boat. Steve cast his fishing line out and waited…
Sure enough, Steve got a bite on his line — and boy, the fish put up a fight! At that point, it still wasn’t entirely clear what kind of creature he was dealing with. One thing was certain: whatever it was, it was strong.
It was angry, too! You can’t really blame it, either, because there’s no animal on Earth who would enjoy the feeling of having a hook in its mouth when all it was expecting was a bit of a big, juicy worm. But this animal was in a league of its own…
Steve pulled the mystery creature as close to the shoreline as possible so his crew could try to wrangle it in. He also had to make sure he didn’t jerk the line in too many directions or it would snap, and the battle would be for nothing. Finally, the creature was close enough to touch…
What the heck was that thing? The scaly body looked just like a massive snake. Did Steve catch an anaconda? Based on the fight it put up, that was a real possibility. However, once Steve finally pulled its head out of the water with the help of a crew member, he was in shock…
The creature was an Arapaima, one the largest freshwater fish in the world! Steve couldn’t believe their luck. After all the time he’d spent fishing and exploring the Amazon River, he never had the opportunity to hold an Arapaima.
It’s no wonder Steve struggled to control the fish: they can grow to more than 10 feet in length and weigh 400 pounds, meaning they somehow get even bigger than the one the crew caught!
Check this monstrous Arapaima out! That’s one heck of a fish! This is one of the largest ever photographed. Most don’t grow to this size, but this just proves how spooky the waters of the Amazon River can be.
With fish that require two grown men to carry lurking about, you can’t expect many people to want to go swimming in this waterway! And can you blame them? Just imagine this gigantic fish chasing you. Talk about a nightmare!
After a few amazing pictures with the Arapaima, Steve released it back into the murky water. It was a mesmerizing encounter, to say the least. Steve would remember this long after it ended. He could finally check Arapaima off the list of creatures he wanted to catch!
Similarly, lamprey fish, while it may resemble an eel, are actually not related to them in any way. Its outward appearance may seem a little strange to people, but overall, it’s not too scary, right? Get ready to think again…
These “little” sea creatures may not appear frightening when you first lay eyes upon them… that is, until you take a look at their horrifying mouths, which feature row upon row of teeny, sharp teeth! Don’t be fooled by their small size, though; these teeth can hurt.
Lamprey fish typically grow anywhere from six to 40 inches in length, too! And they’re not just in the United Kingdom. Different kinds of lampreys are native to other parts of the globe, including five kinds in the Great Lakes in the United States!
While there’s no real chance that a lamprey fish could ever consume a human—they’re simply not large enough—the parasitic ones will latch onto you or any prey. Once attached, they’ll begin to suck blood from whatever appendage it may be that they’re feasting on.
Flickr / usfwspacific
This river trout, for instance, has not one, but two lampreys on him that are feeding greedily on his blood. Still, while these eel-like fish are known for their blood-sucking tendencies, many of their habits remain unknown to researchers.
What we do know is that lampreys can be found in both freshwaters and in the ocean, where they have been known to swim great distances. They will travel these long paths in order to find the food (blood) that they need to survive every day in the ocean.
Not only are lampreys able to travel far distances, especially for their size, but they are also regarded as fast and efficient swimmers. Still, whenever they need a break, they’re known to latch themselves onto boats and driftwood.
Flickr / usfwsmidwest
Their strange foresight to attach themselves to boats and travel great distances is a strange, yet smart means of survival. It goes to show that while lampreys might not appear to be intelligent creatures on a surface level, they will do anything to survive.
For the most part, lampreys eat fish, including mackerel, basking sharks, swordfish, cod, eel, sturgeon, American pollock, salmon, and haddock. They aren’t too picky, though, so don’t think they’ll ignore you just because you’re not a fish!
To hunt their prey, lampreys attach themselves to the side of the animal and begin scraping their teeth into their skin or scales until they are able to pierce it and start sucking their blood. Then, they’ll suck all of the blood from their prey, even if it’s a much larger animal.
Once the lamprey has drained its prey of its blood, it will detach and move on to find another animal on which to feed. Crikey! These creepy fish enjoy the act of extracting blood so much that researchers have never found any other contents in their stomachs.
While lamprey fish aren’t necessarily an immediate threat to the well-being of humans around the world, they are eerie enough to keep a lot of people out of the water—or at least checking twice to see if there are any around whenever they take a dip!