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Is that a parasite in your trunks or are you happy to see me?
April 9, 2007 3:39 PM   Subscribe

Martin Strel finishes 3272-mile swim through the Amazon River. BBC has an FAQ, and here are videos of Strel passing various checkpoints. Thing to avoid while swimming in the Amazon: the toothpick fish, aka the candiru. [previously]
posted by phaedon (37 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
... the DREADED candiru...
posted by id at 4:10 PM on April 9, 2007


Oh my.
posted by armoured-ant at 4:27 PM on April 9, 2007


Candiru? In my vagina?
posted by basicchannel at 4:34 PM on April 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


The part through Peru is weeks of class 5 rapids, there is no way to swim it, unless he did something special.

See also Running the Amazon about the first boating trip of the Amazon.
posted by stbalbach at 4:35 PM on April 9, 2007


wow, This Martin Strel character is awesome. What a spectacular feat. That Amazon is no fun for humans. Incredible. He's 52 years old.

Anacondas. Attractive poisonous frogs. Jaguars and anacondas. Tapir swallowing anacondas. Anacondas and caimans. The Encantado.

Our brave Count Vronsky swam the Amazon too.
posted by nickyskye at 4:44 PM on April 9, 2007


I really like the caption for one of the photos in the article on the toothpick fish.

DO NOT BACK UP, SEVERE URETHRA DAMAGE.

Indeed.
posted by kbanas at 4:46 PM on April 9, 2007


[Writes phaedon's name down in the column listing people who do write "an" instead of "a" before "FAQ"]
posted by poweredbybeard at 4:51 PM on April 9, 2007


Wow, that article on the Candiru is indeed damn interesting, thanks.
posted by saraswati at 4:56 PM on April 9, 2007


Why

.
posted by Muddler at 5:01 PM on April 9, 2007


Totally scary YouTube video on candiru fish damage. Close-up of the fish being removed. unnngggg.

Strel is my athlete hero, along with the woman paraglider who survived being pulled higher than Mount Everest.
posted by nickyskye at 5:10 PM on April 9, 2007


Ah, so that's what a pantsfish looks like.

No wonder quonsar is so cranky.
posted by loquacious at 5:15 PM on April 9, 2007


Seems like the toothpick could be avoided by tight underwear or a wetsuit.
posted by delmoi at 5:49 PM on April 9, 2007


Seems like the toothpick could be avoided by tight underwear or a wetsuit.

... or a condom?


eeeek
posted by eli_d at 6:10 PM on April 9, 2007


I DO NOT LIKE THAT MOTHERFUCKIN FISH

not even a little
posted by Mister_A at 6:33 PM on April 9, 2007


I will never pee in the Amazon. I will never pee in the Amazon. I will never pee in the Amazon...
posted by Dasein at 7:21 PM on April 9, 2007


nickyskye, we need to talk.
posted by LordSludge at 7:22 PM on April 9, 2007


This may well be a hoax. The Dreaded Candiru story of a tiny fish swimming upstream lacks any documentation and was never proven to swim upstream into a human male urethra. Recently this charming video surfaced on Animal Planet: A re-enactment of a single incident, undocumented other than a "true" story told third-hand at best.

Go and piss in the Amazon all you want.
posted by longsleeves at 7:59 PM on April 9, 2007


Totally scary YouTube video on candiru fish damage. Close-up of the fish being removed. unnngggg.

WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?

The candiru has to be an undeniable proof of Sadistic Design.
posted by clevershark at 8:01 PM on April 9, 2007


I for one, welcome our new urethra-imploding icthalian masters
posted by Parannoyed at 8:14 PM on April 9, 2007


If this story ain't true... it shoulda been. And it's a very good reason to not piss in your neighbors' river. Nicht wahr?
posted by taosbat at 8:16 PM on April 9, 2007


Hey, wait, he was swimming downstream! Cheat.
posted by dhartung at 8:50 PM on April 9, 2007


LordSludge, What would you like to talk about? :)
posted by nickyskye at 9:00 PM on April 9, 2007


longsleeves, as the article discusses, it has finally been documented to have happened in 1997. It is extremely rare, which is probably the reason for the disbelief, but it isn't fiction.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:27 PM on April 9, 2007


candiru : the fish you would least want to have in your pants.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:35 PM on April 9, 2007


Recently this charming video surfaced on Animal Planet: A re-enactment of a single incident, undocumented other than a "true" story told third-hand at best.

Someone actually went and did this just to check out whether or not the fish really swims up willies? I get curiosity and the need to know, but that's just too much.
posted by Xere at 10:56 PM on April 9, 2007


I'm not sure what creeps me out more, the implied-urethra-entrance in the Animal Planet video, or that the show was rated PG.
posted by kaytwo at 1:19 AM on April 10, 2007


This may well be a hoax.

I thought you meant the swim, longsleeves.

50 miles per day for, what, 65 days? That smells *ahem* very fishy to me.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 4:09 AM on April 10, 2007


nickyskye: LordSludge, What would you like to talk about? :)

Kittens. Let's talk about kittens.

The kind that don't want to crawl up my pee hole.
posted by LordSludge at 6:05 AM on April 10, 2007


Is the fame worth it for that kind of fish?? No way.
posted by willthethrill at 6:47 AM on April 10, 2007


Wincing, crossing legs and vowing to never swim in the Amazon!
posted by UseyurBrain at 8:02 AM on April 10, 2007


50 miles per day for, what, 65 days? That smells *ahem* very fishy to me.

Given the fact that he's also being pulled along by currents, it works out to more like 15-18 miles a day in still waters. Still, you try doing that, at age 52 and carrying a gut (Martin apparently likes to drink 2 bottles of wine a day, even when he's swimming).

You can follow along with his journey at www.amazonswim.com, which was updated almost daily during the swim. I think the camera crew that's been with him, filming his swim for the entire 65 days for the upcoming documentary Big River Man, probably do not consider his feat to be "fishy," except perhaps for the days he actually swam through piranha-infested waters.

A friend of mine is on the camera crew. He didn't want to go, but I suppose didn't feel he could back out. I'm looking forward to hearing the stories.
posted by chuq at 11:55 AM on April 10, 2007


Given the fact that he's also being pulled along by currents, it works out to more like 15-18 miles a day in still waters.

50 miles = 15-18 miles per day when you factor in currents? Crikey.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 4:40 PM on April 10, 2007


15-18 miles per day when you factor in currents? Crikey.

Yeah, no kidding. That's according to a snippet of the forthcoming documentary.

Sometimes the currents were not in his favor, though ... near the end for a while it seemed that no matter how fast he swam he actually went backwards.
posted by chuq at 5:13 PM on April 10, 2007


Sorry chuq, but your explanation has made me even more incredulous. The current effectively tripled his speed for the entire distance? Struth.

I guess I just don't understand the physics of long distance, current assisted swimming.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:56 PM on April 10, 2007




longsleeves, as the article discusses, it has finally been documented to have happened in 1997. It is extremely rare, which is probably the reason for the disbelief, but it isn't fiction.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:27 PM on April 9 [+]

[!]

I read the article. Hmmm.
posted by longsleeves at 8:21 PM on April 10, 2007


As an interesting aside, I looked for more information about the candiru, and found a paper from the ichthyologist involved in documenting the "attack" on a person. In 2001 he went on to attempt to show what chemicals attracted the candiru, and didn't get reactions from any of the chemicals tried. (ammonia, fish slime, and human urine).

Instead, it appears that they respond to the visual appearance of fish. Unfortunately its only an abstract and I don't have access to the full paper. But this evidence makes it even stranger that they'd mistake humans for fish.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:37 PM on April 10, 2007


Instead, it appears that they respond to the visual appearance of fish. Unfortunately its only an abstract and I don't have access to the full paper. But this evidence makes it even stranger that they'd mistake humans for fish.

What if you had your old fella hanging out of the side of your shorts?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 1:27 AM on April 11, 2007


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