This ‘Testicle-Eating’ Fish Is Back In American Waters

Beach season is almost over, but is the pain just beginning?

It’s official: No body of water is to be trusted anymore. A week ago, we watched this crazy fish eat a shark in one gulp, but there’s potentially an even worse threat lurking under the surface.

Last month in Michigan’s Lake St. Claire, a woman and her husband reeled in a strange-looking, sharp-toothed creature. It was identified as a pacu, a freshwater fish related to the piranha that’s usually found in the Amazon and Papua New Guinea. But in recent years, it’s been spotted in Illinois and New Jersey, because aquarium owners allegedly dumped them for being too scary and aggressive…especially when it comes to their alleged appetite for human testicles.

Related: 7 Reasons (Not Counting Sharks) The Ocean Should Terrify You

Even though the pacu found in Michigan measured in at only 14 inches long, this thing may be your worst nightmare. It’s nicknamed “the ball cutter,” and reportedly noshes on human flesh, particularly the kind that dangles.

“They bite because they’re hungry, and testicles sit nicely in their mouths,” said Henrik Carl, a fish expert at the Natural History Museum of Denmark. “And its mouth is not so big, so of course it normally eats nuts, fruit and small fish, but human testicles are just a natural target. It’s not normal to get your testicles bitten off, of course, but it can happen.”

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Feeling skeptical? Two men in Papua New Guinea allegedly died in 2011 from a testi-chomper attack, and a toddler in Scotland needed surgery after a pacu bit off her finger in 2004.

However, other experts say the testicle-biting claim is a joke that the media took too seriously, and pacus are usually vegetarian, so use your own judgment. Our advice? Skip the lake outing this Labor Day weekend and stick to barbecuing instead. Maybe serve fish?

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