The following video is brought to you courtesy of the They will Kill You YouTube Channel. Click the video below to watch it now.
Support our Patreon today: https://www.patreon.com/theywillkillyou
Subscribe for new videos: http://goo.gl/SaufF4
Follow us on Instagram: @theywillkillyou
Voiceover by Carl Mason: [email protected]
What is it?
Piranhas are vicious fish notorious for tightly packed, interlocking serrated teeth used for rapid puncture and shearing. In fact, piranha teeth are so sharp several South American tribes have used them as tools for carving wood, cutting hair as well as for modifying tools, such as sharpening darts. The total number of piranha species is still up for debate but the largest and most dangerous of them is the red-bellied piranha, which can grow to be around two feet. Piranhas live and hunt in groups called shoals, which vary in size consisting of up to 20 or more piranhas. The general belief is that they hunt in groups to devour their prey more effectively.
Number 4 Dave Brown
The true power of a piranha attack comes from the number of them involved in the attack. Yet sometimes, as pet shop owner Dave Brown learned, it only takes a single piranha to send you to the hospital. It was the first piranha that Brown ever took in, from a previous owner too scared to look after it. The 44-year-old tried to scoop the fish into a bag twice and it lunged at his hand on each attempt. On Brown’s third attempt, the piranha took a chunk of his right thumb.
Where Is It Located?
Piranhas can be found in the Amazon basin as well as other rivers throughout South America such as the Orinoco, the Paraguay-Paraná, and the São Francisco River. While most species can be found in a single river system, others, like the red-bellied piranha, are present in several. Rogue exotic fish traders have introduced piranhas in some areas around the world far from their natural habitat. Thus, piranhas were found in Kaptai Lake, southeast of Bangladesh and in China’s Lijiang River. In some countries, as well as in several US states, it’s illegal to transport, posses, sell or purchase piranhas.
Number 3 Argentina
On Christmas Day, 2013, at least 70 people were injured in a mass piranha attack at a popular beach on the Parana River, near the city of Rosario, in Argentina. In the worst attack in the area since 2008, when 40 people were hurt by the blood thirsty fish. Lifeguards from the Rambla Catalunya beach ordered bathers not to get into the water, after tens of them emerged with chunks of their flesh devoured. The scene reportedly resembled something from a horror movie. People got out of the water with agonizing wounds and blood dripping from their bodies. Paramedics reported scores of deep cuts on toes, ankles and fingers. One of the injuries was reportedly so severe that it resulted in amputation. Around 20 of the victims were children.
The fact that piranhas can clean your body to the skeleton within minutes has been somewhat exaggerated. Piranhas use their top and bottom teeth together, like scissors, to eviscerate food. Just like sharks, they have serrated teeth that they lose and regrow throughout their lives. They also possess one of the strongest bites of all bony fishes.
Number 2 Adrilla Muniz
On the afternoon of January 27, 2015, Adrilla Muniz was in a canoe with her grandmother and four other children. They were on Brazil’s Maicuru River, near the town of Monte Alegre. After a storm capsized the canoe, they all fell in the piranha, infested water. Adrilla’s grandmother managed to bring the other children into the canoe, but the 6-year old slipped from her grasp. Adrilla’s body was taken to a morgue in Monte Alegre. Gruesome post mortem pictures show how piranhas stripped the flesh from her legs clean off. In the nightmarish pictures, her head, arms and torso don’t seem to have fallen prey to the predatory fish.
How to Survive?
Piranha attacks reach their peak in the dry season which typically lasts from April to September. That’s when the water is lower and food sources are scarce. Piranhas are most likely to attack when splashes are made in the water, that’s why children playing in water tend to be more vulnerable. Swimming near fishermen increases the chances of an attack because of struggling fish and the presence of bait in the water.
Number 1 Attacks in Brazil
In September 2011 more than, one hundred swimmers were attacked by piranha in Brazil over the course of a single weekend. It happened at a lake resort near the town of Jose de Freita, in the Piaui province. According to a spokesperson from the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, the fish were both adult and fingerlings and they attacked the swimmers due to a lack of food sources. Most of the injuries consisted of bitten heels and toes but some of those attacked required hospital treatment in the province’s capital, located around 30 miles from the resort.