Monday, June 29, 2009

Calvin's Things to Avoid: Peeing in the Amazon River

Let me introduce you to the Candirú, also known as the toothpick fish, which are parasitic freshwater catfish in the family Trichomycteridae. They are found in the Amazon River and have a reputation among the natives as the most feared fish in its waters, even more feared then deadly piranha. They are eel-shaped and translucent, making them almost impossible to see in the water.

Toothpick fish are small fish. Adults only grow to around an inch in length with a rather small head and a belly that can appear distended, especially after a large blood meal. They have short, sensory barbs around the head with short backward pointing spines on the gill covers.

The Candirú lies in wait at the river's murky bottom, searching for its next host by sniffing the water for the expelled chemicals urea and ammonia from the gills of other fish. Coincidently, these are the same chemicals found in human urine.
It is believed that they enter the human urethra when it is expanded during urination and lodge themselves in the penis to feed.

There was a reported case in which the victim claimed that the fish jumped and lodged itself in him while he was urinating in thigh deepwater.
I have decided to stock my swimming pool with Candirú. This should be an effective method to keep my guests from peeing in it during my next pool party.

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