March 28, 2010
The Candiru is a small parasitic catfish which is found mostly in the Amazon river where it is the most feared fish – even more so than piranhas. The fish can grow to a maximum length of around six inches. Candiru feed on the blood of their host creatures by swimming into the gills and using razor sharp spines on its head to attach itself. It then chews its way through the host until it reaches a major artery and drinks blood until it is satiated. The fish finds its prey by sniffing the water and this is where it starts to get nasty: the smell of human urine appeals to candirus and they can find their way to a human penis or vagina under the water and enter it. When this happens, the fish attaches itself (causing great pain to the poor human) and it can generally only be removed through surgery. This is a very unpleasant situation to be in – so be warned: don’t pee in the Amazon river.
Video from BBC