Friday, September 24, 2004

Candiru - the penis vampire fish

Sean told me about these dudes that surf a standing wave in the St. Lawrence . Seems like fun but the water is sketchy out there and I just saw a nasty documentary about a really toxic PCB dump upriver 1KM at the Technopark.

I looked up river surfing and found this bizarrre phenomena where large waves run upriver from the ocean once a year in a few rivers. One of them is in the bay of Fundy in Canada, I wonder if anybody has ever surfed it. There's one in Brazil and they actually have a contest there. The really sketchy part is this nasty parasitic fish in that river that swims up your dick or your ass and then sucks your blood and gorges on your flesh. No crap, it's a real fish called the "Candiru". Look it up yourself.

Here's what I found:

"However the reason that the Candiru is most feared by humans is because it is the only vertebrate known to parasitize humans! The fish is said to be addicted to the taste and smell of human urine. Candirus parasitize humans, when they are skinny-dipping while urinating in the water. The candiru tastes the urine stream and follows it back to the human. It then swims up the anus and lodges itself somewhere in the urinary tract with its spines. Blood is drawn, and the candiru gorges itself on the blood and body tissue, its body sometimes expanding due to the amount of blood consumed. Once inside it would eat away the mucous membranes and tissues until hemorrhage would kill it or the host. It was also said that even if one caught the fish by the tail, once in the urethra it could not be pulled out because it would spread itself like an umbrella.

The Candiru can attack both men and women. Penectomy is generally preferred to the misery and pain associated with leaving the fish in the urethra. One way to expel the fish would be to drink the juice of the green fruit of the Jagua tree, Genipa Americana L. The juice of this fruit is brewed into a tea and drunk hot, supposedly causing the skeleton of the fish to dissolve and resulting in its expulsion from the victim within a couple hours. A synthetic version of the brew has been used in the past by urologists to dissolve bladder "incrustations" and kidney stones. The Candiru can also be removed surgically. But both these processes are time consuming.

There are moves to ban the import of these fish into the United States because of fears that
some of them might find their way into American rivers and wreck havoc. As of now there are no known predators of the Candiru and apart from their feeding habits there is very little information available about them. "

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