Many people around the world depend on fish or products made from fish for their food, sometimes fishing industry is fundamental for the whole country. There are more than 30, 000 different species that ply Earth’s oceans and fresh waters. Some nations depict their appreciation for the beauty and variety of fish on their artworks, meanwhile some species are maligned due to their shocking appearance or by their ferocious reputation in folklore and myth. However, a lot of them have darker and even terrifying aspects, especially those lurking in the rivers and lakes around the world.
1 – Dogtooth Tetras
If you ever had a small aquarium at home, you probably heard about small tetras that live easily together with other fishes in small tanks. But if you go to South America, you might find the biggest and the scariest tetras ever, more known as dogtooth tetras. Should you be afraid of them? No, they are too small to cause any significant danger, but their scary teeth bring them to the list of the deadliest fish.
2 – Muskellunge
“Muskies” are quite common in the lakes and rivers of North America and you can even confuse them with their relatives- pikes and pickerels due to a great resemblance. They can reach the length of 1.8 meters and weight up to 32 kilograms, which makes them the largest representatives from pike family. They blend in perfectly with the underwater vegetation and use their camouflage to ambush fish, frogs, snakes, ducklings, crayfish, and small mammals. Luckily humans have nothing to be afraid of.
3- Wels Catfish
Quite massive in their sizes the fish is mostly met in central, southern and eastern Europe. It can reach 5 meters and weight 300 kilograms, which makes this fish the largest one of any freshwater species. What does it mean for the rest of the underwater inhabitants? Majority of them can end up as lunch or dinner choice. This catfish has been even recorded to ambush pigeons on dry land.
4- Alligator Gar
The name comes due to their very strange look, with toothy and elongated shouts reminding big time of the true alligator. The largest among this species reached the length of 2.4 meters with a weight of 148 kg. And this fish is kind of hungry all the time and prefers to hunt beneath the water’s surface. But this fish is truly special: like other bony fish, they have gills and a swim bladder; however, their swim bladder also allows them to breathe air in bodies of water that would suffocate other fish.
5 – Giant Devil Catfish
Why does it have such a creepy name? Cause it can grow up to 2 meters and weight around 90 kg, plus it has a reputation of attacking people as well. The fish is native to South Asia and back in 1998-2007 this catfish or even a group of them is believed to be responsible for series of attacks on people around the Kali River, located between India and Nepal.
6 – African Tigerfish
The closer look at this type of fish will make you shiver and step back. The long sharp teeth are used to catch a smaller fish and even the members of their own species. Humans are never on the menu, however they are the only freshwater fish proven to prey on birds in flight.
7 – Freshwater Stingrays
They are real and there is a whole family of freshwater stingrays, known as Potamotrygonidae living in the river waters draining into the Caribbean in the South America. They are quite small in size and are not as dangerous as the ocean ones. But in the Southeast Asia there is a giant freshwater stingray whose serrated spine can grow up to 38 cm in length making it the largest spine of all stingray species. It can literally pierce the bone, so you really shouldn’t try stepping on it.
8 – Electric Eels
These species are mostly common for the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers and are actually not even eels, despite of the name. But they are electric indeed and can produce up to 600 volts and 1 ampere of watts, which is quite enough to kill a human.
9 – Piranhas
Are probably the most famous and scariest fishes ever, native to rivers of South America. They never go alone, always team up and can strip carcasses to bone within a matter of minutes. Mostly these piranhas leave people alone, but if the food is scarce and the water level is low…everything can be possible.
10 – Bull Sharks
In majority of cases sharks can’t tolerate the fresh water, therefore they are mostly seen in the ocean. However, there are certain species that don’t neglect fresh waters and can visit sometimes. But anyway it is rather rare and elusive, until it comes to the bull shark, who can travel between saltwater and freshwater. Besides that they are known for being very aggressive and therefore are very dangerous, they can easy attack people and already made a reputation after few injuries and fatalities.