Frankenfish
January 6, 2007 10:17 AM   Subscribe

The story began quietly enough on May 18, 2002, when an angler caught an 18 inch fish in a Crofton, Maryland pond. In 2005 a fisherman is reported saying "We would throw one in the cooler, two others would jump out and we'd have to chase them through the woods." Frankenfish, timeline of the snakehead story in the USA. The snakehead is a voracious, predatorial fish, capable of walking, attacking men, living up to 4 days out of water and now spreading from state to state. Video of snakeheads eating (disturbing). Another kind of snakehead, the smuggler of humans. Mentioned previously on MetaFilter. [via]
posted by nickyskye (37 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Of course I went STRAIGHT to the *disturbing* video. I had no idea two-thirds of a fish could live that long...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:24 AM on January 6, 2007


Of course I went STRAIGHT to the *disturbing* video.

I clicked "attacking men" first, and that was just the wikipedia article. The disturbing video was the second click.
posted by delmoi at 10:41 AM on January 6, 2007


Shame there's no youtube video of them walking on their fins. That's a clip I'd really like to have seen.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:47 AM on January 6, 2007


hint: imo, the scary pics are under the Frankenfish link.
posted by nickyskye at 10:48 AM on January 6, 2007


ps drat, meant to include this in the main post, here's a photo of the Frankenfish walking.
posted by nickyskye at 11:01 AM on January 6, 2007


Richard Ashley (Missouri) is one of the very first Americans "to hunt for the mighty Snakehead" in Aisa. What's more scary, Americans crossing to Asia to kill snakeheads, or the snakehead invasion of America.
posted by stbalbach at 11:03 AM on January 6, 2007


For some reason I don't think it's a good idea to eat these things.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:04 AM on January 6, 2007


Talk about life subdued to its instrument.
posted by Iridic at 11:17 AM on January 6, 2007


For some reason I don't think it's a good idea to eat these things.

Wikipedia says they make a good 'food' fish, and that they're popular in Thailand.
posted by delmoi at 11:30 AM on January 6, 2007


Wow that video was great. Fish snuff with Chinese (?) pop music.
posted by ob at 11:31 AM on January 6, 2007


Don't forget the cinema! There's Night of the Snakehead Fish (2003), directed by Richard A. Lester (absolutely no relation). Next comes Snakehead Terror (2004), clearly made for no other purpose than to give Bruce Boxleitner another paycheck. Last and greatest of all comes Swarm of the Snakehead, the only snakehead movie actually made in Maryland, directed by Frank Lama and Joel Denning, and featuring an all-star cast including Lama, Johnny Alonso and Gunnar "Leatherface" Hansen!
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:37 AM on January 6, 2007


Die, die, die, fishies.

Naturally, we need to send native North American fauna equally repulsing to Asia in retaliation.
posted by Atreides at 11:44 AM on January 6, 2007


Wow, what can you say about that poor orange guy. He tried.

Yep, click #2 for me too, after the Wikipedia of "attacking man."
posted by ibmcginty at 12:05 PM on January 6, 2007


Here's some more background on the snakehead, stuff I'd never known before.

I can see how they'd vote Republican, though.
posted by John of Michigan at 12:38 PM on January 6, 2007


Reminds me of a cheesy little gif I was hired to design last year...
posted by miss lynnster at 1:08 PM on January 6, 2007


Wait! Why didn't that work? I'll try again: cheesy little gif.
posted by miss lynnster at 1:09 PM on January 6, 2007


I did a freelance piece on invasive species once for a local weekly. The star was unquestionably the bright-orange Asian Swamp Eel. Cast out from various aquaria, it has taken up residence in a few rivers in Florida. I got in touch with the USGS invasive species center there, and our conversation went like this:
Me: "What's wrong with the eel?"
Them: "It eats all the sport fish."
Me: "Well, why can't they fish for the eel? I like eel."
Them: "It's nocturnal."
Me: "What about fishing at night?"
Them: "It also exudes copious amounts of slime."

They initially confessed that one of their number had eaten a Swamp Eel (they are reportedly widely eaten in Asia) but when they thought that would look bad in print, they retracted their statement.

On a more serious note, zebra mussels caused millions of dollars of damage in Chicago. The mussels clogged the intake of a freshwater supply for the city. When the city shut it down to work on it, the street above collapsed, shutting down major downtown roads for some time.
posted by atchafalaya at 1:16 PM on January 6, 2007


Actually I didn't find the eating video that disturbing, but then the Wife has the house filled up with fish-tanks and I've seen all manner of horrors.

One of the more amazing things is watching seahorses eat. You think of them as being all pretty and slow, but people forget that they are ambush predators. Picture a lobster, now picture a super powerful shop-vac. Now imagine taking that shop-vac and using it to, in an instant, pull that lobster through the rigid hose connector. Bit go flying everywhere. It's nasty.

That is how a seahorse eats a shrimp.

Of course, seahorses can't get out of their tanks and chase your ass down, so snakeheads got them beat dead to rights on the scary level.

[Great job on the post nickyskye, I'm glad you didn't listen to me in the other thread.]
posted by quin at 1:19 PM on January 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Next On MetaFilter: Seahorses Of Slaughter!

Damn. These FF are amazing. Glad that I walk on two legs and breathe air - I think the undersea world is much more brutal and unforgiving than land-based living.
posted by davidmsc at 1:28 PM on January 6, 2007


For all the Philly folks, these fish can be found 'down the lakes' i.e. in FDR Park. The fear here is that they can/will/have made it to the Schuylkill/Delaware by the overland route.
posted by fixedgear at 1:42 PM on January 6, 2007


They're The Lord's intelligently designed li'l snowflakes, bless thier hearts. Look at 'em walk-- they think they're people!
posted by maryh at 1:45 PM on January 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


Damn... the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is not messing around with these things. They even have a 24-hour Snakehead Fish Hotline. (1-800-770-4951)

I found this page which has some interesting testimonials from (mostly previous) snakehead owners:

"There were occasions where the snakehead would attack another fish out of pure aggression, just to kill him and left his battered body there to die."

"I loved that fish out of respect for what it is...a killing machine. He'd eat 4 or 5 feeders at a time, with one mighty gulp."

"A word of advice: I wouldn't recommend owning one. They are very dangerous pets. The most aggressive animal I've ever owned. Plus they jump out of the acquarium ALL THE TIME."
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:48 PM on January 6, 2007


2004 was a summer for strange critters in MD with the snakehead making repeat appearances, followed by the spotting of a hyote. While the hyote's no longer a mystery, it now it looks like the snakehead is here to stay.
posted by hoppytoad at 2:05 PM on January 6, 2007


Seahorses of Slaughter! You mean those cute little seahorses with the delicate faces and fairy-like bodies are actually Killer Fish Shop Vacs? Dang. Somehow I thought they were vegetarians with those long, thin snouts of theirs and lived on seaweed or bubbles or something. Couldn't help googling for a vid to watch this horror and found one. It looks as if the seahorse is smoking that shrimp. yikes.

I'm glad you didn't listen to me in the other thread

But I did listen to you quin. Carefully. :) And thanks to your heads up, decided if I followed maryh's and your suggestion, a fresh post would work if it were an updated story.
posted by nickyskye at 2:13 PM on January 6, 2007


Here's some more background on the snakehead, stuff I'd never known before.

I can see how they'd vote Republican, though.



The more I hear about these snakeheads, the more I don't like 'em!
posted by Brown Jenkins at 2:16 PM on January 6, 2007


/full derail

Another tail of woe from the fish-tank of horrors!

We had a smallish reef-tank, maybe 30 gallons or so, that we weren't really using for anything. Somehow or another we ended up with a little octopus and figured it would live a happy life amongst all the caves and cracks in the liverock. Almost immediately upon us putting it in the tank it vanished. We'd put food in every now and again but we never saw it come out to eat. Since octopuses are both skilled escape artists and not particularly long lived, we figured it had either quietly died in the rocks or made a break for it and been eaten by one of the cats.

After a couple of months we came into a bunch of clown-fish, lacking a better place to put them, we let them loose into the reef tank.

After a few days we noticed that there was one less clown-fish. "Hmm, that's weird", we said. But when you have as many tanks as we do, it's not uncommon for a fish to go missing. Until a few more days passed and another clown went AWOL as well. About this time, we figured that our estimation of the demise of the octopus was probably premature. He was still in there. Lurking. Hunting.

In my mind it became the the fish-tank equivalent of any alien invader type movie:

Clown 1: Hey, did you see where Trevor went?
Clown 2: He said he thought he heard a noise, so he went down to check it out.
Clown 1: Down there? Didn't he remember what happened to John last week?
Clown 2: No, we have really short memories.
Clown 1: Shh, did you hear that?
Clown 2: I better go check it out...
posted by quin at 3:05 PM on January 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


nickyskye : a fresh post would work if it were an updated story.

And judging from the responses, it's worked well. You've turned a whole new group of Mefites on to the living terror that is snakeheads. Many won't sleep well tonight.

Excellent.
posted by quin at 3:08 PM on January 6, 2007


While we are on the fish tip I thought I would share this:

goldfish have a memory span of up to three months and they can also tell the time(!)
posted by asok at 3:22 PM on January 6, 2007


Poor fishie. :( He's up in cute orange animal heaven, hopefully separated from all the kittens.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 6:14 PM on January 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


/another derail

asok, Ever see that synchronised goldfish video? It's pretty astonishing.

quin, Sounds like your Little Nemos are being offed by the Blair Witch of cephalopods. (Didja know that an octopus has three hearts? Octopuses are really amazing critters, how cool you have one.)
posted by nickyskye at 6:33 PM on January 6, 2007


There's actually little evidence that they're spreading naturally -- at least not far. The instances in the Potomac and here where I live, Wisconsin (!), are tied to separate releases of imported fish. They haven't found any more in the Rock River since 2003, apparently (they aren't expected to survive Wisconsin winters, although we haven't had much of one this year at all).
posted by dhartung at 7:14 PM on January 6, 2007


These are great tasting fish. Very common on the menu in Thailand.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 8:11 PM on January 6, 2007


I knew there was something odd about that gaeng keo wan pla I had in Ayutthaya.
posted by shoepal at 9:30 PM on January 6, 2007


Seahorses of Slaughter! You mean those cute little seahorses with the delicate faces and fairy-like bodies are actually Killer Fish Shop Vacs? Dang. Somehow I thought they were vegetarians with those long, thin snouts of theirs and lived on seaweed or bubbles or something.

They fight, too.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 5:43 PM on January 7, 2007


The fighting seahorses are actually kind of cute.

*bonk* *bonk* "I'm goin', I'm goin'!"
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:20 AM on January 8, 2007


That video should be illegal. Why is it different than cockfighting?
posted by yoel88 at 11:03 AM on January 8, 2007


Lemme get this straight, we eliminated the dodo, the passenger pigeon, myriad others, we had to make serious efforts to recover one of the most successful land animals in the Americas (the buffalo), hell, we exterminate entire species by accident...and we can’t kill this SOB?

zebra mussels were a serious problem in chicago, but some outfit guys told them to “knock it off” or there would be “trouble”, they got the message.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:28 AM on January 8, 2007


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