back to article Killer piranha stalk Folkestone pond

Experts fear Britain could be facing a deadly invasion of killer piranha after a Kent angler hooked one of the Amazonian fang-fish in a Folkestone pond - thousands of miles from its natural habitat where gangs of them regularly strip the flesh from their victims in a terrifying frenzy of teeth and foaming water. The poster …


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  1. Lottie

    Fight of the century

    I wonder what'll happen in a rumble between these fishies and some pike or Zander?

  2. Richard Porter
    IT Angle

    And the IT angle is?

    Oh... angling. I get it.

  3. Alien Doctor 1.1

    Rodtle goes here

    "dragged my line about 500 yards" - that's interesting given that the pond in Radnor Park is about 200*150 feet.

    1. Annihilator


      You've never had a conversation with a fisherman before then. Exaggeration comes with the territory.

    2. Daniel 1


      It is interesting to reflect that a 1lb 4oz fish would have weighed considerably more than 1lb 4oz after it had eaten the entire arm of a grown man.

      It'll be the overgrown pet of some brain-addled Kentish drug dealer, with a James Bond delusion.

    3. Code Monkey


      Piranha are the Chuck Norrises of the fish world. Of course they can drag his line 500 yards in a 200 foot pond.

      Don't f... ...irahna with pirahna

      1. Alien Doctor 1.1

        re: Well

        No, I haven't - but I suppose an analogue would be most men (me included, I guess) talking about the "size of my sports car".

    4. MonkeyBot


      They did laps.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or even some others

      I recall an news article (from before www) where something like a brown trout (IIRC) jumped from its tank into adjacent piranha tank – end result trout finished most of them off and the survivors were cowering in corner

      1. TimeMaster T


        But what kind of Piranha where they?

        Many are primarily vegetarian believe it or not, meat is a bonus but not their main food stuff. If the ones in the tank had been of the more aggressive carnivorous variety it may have had a different outcome.

        One thing about Piranha, they are great in a chowder. Also believed by some locals of the Amazon to have "enhancing" effects.

        I'll have a pint and a bowl of chowder please.

    6. ToddRundgren


      Lottie, is that Ed Zander and Pvt Pike? Zander would last longer as he's fatter.

    7. FreeTard
      Thumb Up

      Pike would eat it

      Pirhana's are not that dangerous,only when the water level drops significantly in mid-summer. They get concentrated in pools and then they are dangerous.

      Saying that, my mate comes from Pirhana land, and they kill a deer / cow / horse down river before they do mass crossings with their farm animals. Else there animals get eaten.

      Mind you, I used to keep pirhanas and we'd play a drunken party game "Who can keep the bloodied finger in the tank longest". I still have the scar.

  4. Richard 81

    "I felt an almighty tug on my rod"

    Funny? What's funny about that?

    Nothing but appropriate angling terms here.

  5. Huns and Hoses
    Thumb Up

    Well done!

    Almost every report about piranhas includes the standard phrase "skeletonise a cow" somewhere, and yet you managed to avoid it.

  6. Jimboom

    First big cats in the countryside

    and now piranha in our ponds.. it really is a jungle out there.

    I'll get me coat, it's the one with the safari colours on it.

  7. Thomas 4

    "Felt an almighty tug on his rod"

    Did he also get an almighty tug on his fishing pole as well?

    Thank you, I'll be here all week.

    1. Rumcajz

      Ms. Bee and the disease of the double-entendre

      Perhaps Ms. Bee was thinking in non-angling terms for a few moments, and inadvertently (or even intentionally!!) thought of a double-entendre connected with a phrase in the article.

      I guess we can only hope that readers of El Reg don't catch this awful habit from her. Even the staff could, if this type of thing goes unchecked, become habituated and eventually addicted.

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Thanks for correcting the omission

      Just when we thought to be safe of the cow line..

    3. vic 4


      Quite right, everyone knows they would eat the skeleton too.

  8. Inachu


    I would be on the hunt for the person who dumps these nasty fish into ponds.

    If those fish killed anyone I loved then as punsihment I'd find the man and push him in there.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Grrrr

      If someone dumped those fish they are several flavours of fuckstain, but piranhas don't kill people.

      1. Professor Tinklepants


        Flavours of fuckstain? Thanks for that - I'm eating my lunch....well, I was... :0(


      2. Thomas 4

        @Ms Bee

        I agree with your point about people discarding unwanted pets being fuckstains but the part about piranhas not killing people is not entirely true.

        Piranhas will attack anything large in shoals, be it a fish, aquatic mammal or a careless human and these attacks are quite often fatal. Piranhas and sharks don't *actively* seek out humans, by, say, jumping on the Number 23 to Swindon kicking your front door in and devouring your family. They are opportunistic predators but predators none-the-less.

      3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge


        .. they just eat them. That they die in the process is just an unfortunate side effect :-)

        Just kidding. One piranha is unlikely to be up to a complete cow or human anyway, it takes a school to do a decent, movie-compatible job. And with the current state of schools I can't see that happen.

      4. Anonymous Coward

        Piranhas don't kill people

        People kill people.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      piranhas don't kill people

      grow a brain and stop believing everything you see in the movies

      1. irish donkey

        piranhas don't kill people

        People kill poeple!

        The fish is acting purely on impulse...........

        Oh! is that my coat............... all right no need to push

        1. TeeCee Gold badge

          Re: piranhas don't kill people

          In that case:

          Is that a piranha in your pocket, or have you just had a massive tug on your rod?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What no Paris? I must correct that..

    Why? Do I really need to spell it out?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What DO you mean...

    "it generally feeds on insects, worms and other fish"

    "Yes, yes. I bet you've got something terrifically funny to say about that. Please do share it with the class."

    What ... are you suggesting that there is something else that smells like tuna?

    At last, something that might beat the Rampant Rabbit ... but strictly a one time experience, of course.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Chilly Willy Piranah?

    Of course the fact that these fish live in tropcial water with an average temperature of 24-26c might put a bit of a damper on things when winter comes?

  12. webster phreaky ate my iphone

    I for one...

    ... welcome our new rod tugging, cow skeletonizing overlords.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me....

    of the time an aquarium (shop) went bust in St. Helens (Merseyside) and the guy dumped all his tropical fish in the "Hotties" (part of the Leeds / Liverpool canal that ran past the hot water outlet from the Pilkington glass works)

    This made for some very exciting angling when I were a lad, a large variety of exotic fishies providing lots of almighty tugs on my rod down by that canal

    1. lawndart


      Piranha Attack Reported In Sun.

      Pull At Rod Initiates Scare.

      Pond At Radnor Indeterminate Size.

      Plum Assaults Radnor's Insectivorous Swimmer.

      1. Colin Miller


        Piscine Amazonian Release Infiltrates South

  14. Arkasha
    Thumb Up

    At last!

    We can boast about dangerous flora and fauna in the English countryside! Before all you could say when talking to Johnny Foreigner was that we had some rather dubious sightings of what might have been a large black cat but could have well been a large dog. Or maybe you could have mentioned the rather pathetic adder... they can give a right nasty nip you know? And lastly there's hedgehogs (very nasty to stand on one), irate badgers, and, of course, the fearsome miffed squirrel.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    no they won't breed

    this will have been released by some idiot who didn't want his pet fish any more - there's probably only one anyway

    regardless of how many there are, they'll all be dead by this time next year as they are tropical fish from the Amazon basin - they won't survive winter in the UK

    1. Rob 30

      wrong climate

      as a fish keeper i'm pretty surprised it survived being chucked in the lake in the first place to be honest, you're meant to acclimate them gradually to get them used to even small variations in ph, nitrate levels etc.. chucking a bucket of tropical tank water into an english river wouldn't leave many survivors one would think.

      unless they are unusually hardy fish i guess, anyone here keep any?

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        You're missing the obvious

        Some kind of evil mad scientist has been working on piranhas adapted to the English, well Kentish, climate as part of a bid to take over dear old Blighty and use it as his base to take over the world...

        ... where's the Dr. Evil icon? muahaha!

    2. Christoph Silver badge

      But you're forgetting ...

      The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog

      1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

        Or The...

        ...exploding sheep.

    3. Huntsman


      Adders are puffs.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        Hedgehogs are Sonic?

        Coat, taxi, etc.

  16. Queeg

    Just one question

    Nowhere in the story or in the comments so far has anyone asked the most important question.

    Does it go with chips?

    Hand grenade..the perfect fishing tool for Piranha

  17. deadbeef

    How Fast Can You Swim?

    Wonder if this is just a PR publicity stunt for the upcoming Piranha 3D due out this year? Coincidence? Hmmmm,

  18. DataFish

    Yes but....

    You too can eat Piranha...the worm has turned!! Catch em and eat em, they'll die in winter anyway.

  19. Ian Ferguson

    Piranhas aren't dangerous

    "where gangs of them regularly strip the flesh from their victims in a terrifying frenzy of teeth and foaming water"

    I hope that's Sun hyperbole and you don't believe EVERYTHING you read.

    Bizarrely enough, the 'frenzy' myth started with Theodore Roosevelt:

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Piranhas aren't dangerous

      It's irony. C'mon.

    2. Arkasha

      I'll bet

      that The Daily Mail are running a story on how Piranhas cause cancer tomorrow.

  20. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Typical over exaggeration...

    Fishermen huh!!! I'd be highly surprised if a single Pirhana could have taken his arm off lest it be on big mutant of a motherf**ing fish. OK, yes, maybe he could have gotten a fairly deep cut from the teeth, but the real threat of the Pirhana comes when there is a school of them... and only then that they are all hungry.

    Incidentally, I had a nice tug on my rod last night ;-)

  21. Coruscating Frenzy

    ... or by checking some tedious facts ...

    ... we'd realise there's really very little threat, even from the infamous Red-Bellied Piranha, whose threat is massively overstated and sensationalised.

  22. dogged


    Did he throw it back?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's in the SUN!

    Believe it, and confirm your stupidity!

  24. Shadowfirebird

    On a (probably completely un) related note:

    Did you know that the Folkstone harbour area has a large population of white scorpions? And my information is ten years out of date, so that probably counts for most of Kent by now...

  25. Michael 28

    I wouldn't worry about the Pirhana's the Candiru you have to worry about... you can't catch 'em in a net remember.

    BTW... there any pubs open near this lake ?

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge


      you had to go there, din't you? Couldn't leave it at cow-munching pirhanas. Oh, no. Let's talk about tube-steak crawlers as well. Gah, now what am I gonna do after the next pint? It won't work now, thinking about little fishies crawling where no fishies should ever go. Where NOTHING should ever go...

    2. Alien Doctor 1.1


      Try the Park Inn on Radnor Park Road; I hear you can get a nice bite in there.

      Mine's the one with the Turbot wriggling in NO NO.

  26. Neil 13

    I say....

    ...we take off and nuke the whole site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

  27. Eponymous Cowherd

    Nasty little native species.

    We have our own native nasties:-

    Lesser Weever (Echiichthys vipera) and Greater Weever (Trachinus draco) . They inhabit sandy beaches around the UK where they lay half buried waiting for prey. Unfortunately they also get trodden on by bathers who are impaled on their venomous dorsal spines.

    The Lesser Weever is the more venomous of the two.

    Some years ago I saw someone "stung" in the hand by one of these. I was fishing off a local pier when a tourist's kid caught one. A local recognised it immediately (as did I) and told the lads father to cut his line. The muppet refused to believe something that venomous lived in UK waters and tried to unhook it, his hand only protected by a piece of rag. Needless to say the Weever's spines easily penetrated the rag, and his hand.

    First there was an "ouch", followed by a few expletives which, as the venom took effect, escalated into screams of agony and blubbering.....

    Yes, they really are that bad.

  28. copsewood

    a fishy tale

    I met a bloke once who told me a bucket of pirhana fish were discarded, presumably by a pet owner unable to afford his butcher's bills, just downstream of the power station condenser outlet on the river Severn at Ironbridge once. The water there was so warm they loved it. In order to kill them off they had to turn off the power station for a few days.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge


      I though Weevils were a bit large for a fishing line.

      Ah, no. OK, I'll stop watching Torchwood for a while then..

  29. Alien Doctor 1.1

    @the Moderatrix

    I'd love to know how the comments you moderate on this auspicious web-rag compare with the abuses you must have suffered while working for Melody Maker; both sets of fans are "immature, basement-dwelling freaks"?

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: @the Moderatrix

      Well, the Maker was pre-Web 2.0 really so it was blissfully peaceful.

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: @the Moderatrix

        Also, I wrote for it, I didn't edit the letters which is what people used to do before this sort of thing, you know, back in those days. It was a glorious time, when men were men and women were free to not spend their days mucking out the internet.

        Ah me.

  30. George Nacht

    Human eaters or not...

    ...should they survive and breed (I know there is not much of a chance, but stranger things already happened), they could really seriously damage the whole ecosystem.Remember when this kind of fish ...can´t figure out the name...was introduced on purpose to Lake Victoria, effectively wiping out pretty much everything that lived in it and around it? Just saying. Whether they are rabbits, or tilapias, animals generally should stay where they belong.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      But, but ..

      .. think of the problems you could solve. I'd turn it into a swimming pool for lawyers and especially expense fiddling and privacy damaging MPs. One step closer to paradise, no?


      1. Christoph Silver badge

        That's appalling cruelty

        Feed lawyers to piranha? How could you possibly suggest such a terrible thing? What have the piranha ever done to deserve that?

  31. Eddy Ito Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Lucky fella

    In case he's reading this. Chop up some tomatoes and a couple of shallots. Put some butter in a pan, let it melt over low heat and make a bed with half of the tomatoes and shallots. Place the cleaned piranha on the bed add salt, pepper and a bit of parsley then cover with the remaining tomato/shallot mixture. Add a few oz. Pinot Gris, cover until fish is done. Remove piranha from pan and reduce remaining mixture. Pour reduction on plate, top with piranha, serve with yu choy and rice with sweet potato.

  32. Maty

    ah yes ...

    "The thrashing fish of fury".

    No-one writes it up like our Lester!

  33. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Or not

    "The other fishermen were yelling, 'You've caught a piranha'. I couldn't believe it. Luckily, the fishing hook had fallen out of its mouth otherwise I would had somehow had to remove it myself."

    Or, you could have clubbed it with a tire iron until it quit moving, or you could have written off the fishing hook as a loss--is any population on earth that strapped for metal artifacts these days?

    As for the pond, good luck. A few years ago, I saw Maryland authorities pumping out a pond in search of a snakehead. Don't know that the found that one, do know that there are now snakeheads in the Potomac.

  34. Pac-man
    Jobs Halo

    Love those Euphemisms.

    For once my work hasn't blocked out gutter based comments infesting TheRegister.

  35. John H Woods

    Massive Tug in Folkestone ...

    Harbour, surely - not pond.

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