Testicle-eating fish warning

Last updated 16:24 12/08/2013
pacufish
JOAKIM LIND/FLICKR
BALL CUTTER: A pacu fish, found recently in Swedish waters, has been known to use its human-like teeth to munch on testicles.

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Blokes, you might want to cross your legs before reading further: A Danish museum is warning men against skinny-dipping after testicle-munching fish were discovered in the waters off Sweden.

A fisherman recently reeled in what appears to be a 21 cm pacu fish, a relative of the piranha that has been known to use its human-like teeth to chomp on men's most private of areas. Usually found in warmer climes, the fish was caught in the strait of Oresund between Denmark and Sweden.

"The pacu is not normally dangerous to people but it has quite a serious bite, there have been incidents in other countries, such as Papua New Guinea where some men have had their testicles bitten off," Henrik Carl, a fish expert at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, told Sweden's The Local.

"They bite because they're hungry, and testicles sit nicely in their mouth," he explained.

"And its mouth is not so big, so of course it normally eats nuts, fruit, and small fish, but human testicles are just a natural target," Carl said.

"It's not normal to get your testicles bitten off, of course, but it can happen, especially now in Sweden."

Indeed, in 2011 an 18kg pacu fish was blamed for killing two fishermen in Papua New Guinea. The men bled to death after a pacu apparently ripped off their testicles.

But Carl said that the museum's warning was really meant as a "bit of fun" and Swedish men planning on taking a dip in the area had nothing to fear. The museum isn't even certain the fish is a pacu - it's performing genetic testing to make sure the so-called "ball cutter" is not a piranha.

"No, there's nothing to worry about ... you're more likely to drown than get your nuts bitten off," he told The Local with a laugh.

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- Fairfax Media

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