The Red Bellied Pacu have skinnydippers worried. Men swimming in the Danish-Swedish strait of Oresund are warned to keep their pants on. Pacu fish are well-known for biting testicles.
Pacu fish are similar in appearance to the piranha. However, they do not usually eat meat. One of their favorite foods are nuts, which they crack open with their powerful jaws.
As reported by the Huffington Post, experts warn that Pacu fish have mistaken men’s testicles for their favorite snack. The Oresund Pacu sightings have led to a warning from the Natural History Museum of Denmark.
Experts explain that Pacu fish are native to South America. Their teeth are similar to human molars, and are used to crush their food. They can grow quite large, weighing up to 55 pounds.
In 2011, a 40 pound Pacu bit the testicles of two men in Papua New Guinea. Both men bled to death after the attack. As reported by Metro, a British angler eventually caught the killer fish.
Jeremy Wade, star the show River Monsters, traveled to Papua when he heard about the deaths. Wade spent weeks searching the area before he finally caught the fish.
Wade described the Pacu as having crushing molars, a powerful jaw, and muscular body.
The appearance of the Pacu has skinnydippers in Scandinavia frightened. However, they are usually not a threat to humans.
The main difference between the Pacu and piranha are their habits and their teeth. Pacu will eat small fish on occasion. However, piranha are predators.
Pacu teeth are more square, while piranha teeth are pointed and razor-sharp.
Mistaken identity has led to rumors about the Pacu attacking humans. However, they do not eat people. They simply bite.
Pacu are not usually found in the strait of Oresund. It is possible that they were dumped there by smugglers. Until their origin is known, the Pacu have skinnydippers scared. Officials explain that bites can be prevented by wearing a bating suit.
[Image via Flickr]