Becoming One With The Jungle

Amazon Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 15 › view all entries

If you were to talk to anybody who lives in the Amazon and knows of its true secrets (as I do know after my extensive 3 day knowledge of the area) will tell you which species is the most treacherous and dangerous. It will not be the piranha, giant anaconda's, jaguar or even those misleadingly cute monkeys that I think are truly one of the most dangerous animals. Jungle men will tell you tales of the fabled Candirú.

Candirú is essentially a cat fish, I know terrifying huh?? It gets worse, its average size is 3-5mm! Hence why its various scary names translate to the "toothpick fish" due to its size.

Candirú is essentially a parasite that stalks fish in the river and can smell the traces of urea and ammonia that comes out of the gills of any fish. When they sense this, they shoot inside the gills of a fish and anchor in. It eats away at the fish until it hits an artery and has its fill. When its belly is full it simply swims away. Although its size is small, the injuries to the fish are all to extensive and as a result the fish has very little chance of survival.

Now, thats all well and good, you good learn that on the Discovery Channel, actually that is where I learnt of the the Deadly Candirú. So why am I telling you this???

Well, you see, fish are not the only animals that release urea or ammonia from their bodies.....and I am not about to explain the technicalities of how humans do but lets just put it down to faith that you can follow what I am saying and understand that I did this whilst swimming in the Amazon river!!

After leaving the river and drying off, I began to tell Simon the above story but of course I forgot that I saw it on the Discovery Channel and thought that I was making it up and therefore I was trying to wind up Simon. I succeeded in any event, he was freaked out because like me, he had also been in a situation that the fish would be on the look out for. When Deuzimar overheard this, he confirmed our darkest fears!!!! It does exist which means the above is not a creation of my warped mind, seriously, going into wikipedia and check it out for yourselves!!

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photo by: Mezmerized