A mysterious fish with human-like teeth was discovered near California’s Stockton Boat Docks last week, and images of the fish have gone viral on social media.
Local Fox affiliate Fox 40 was able to verify that the fish is a Pacu, after speaking with California Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Andrew Hughan. The fish is in the pirhana family but is not considered dangerous to humans,
— Nicole Williams (@NcoleWilliams) August 20, 2015
Hughan told Fox 40 that the Pacu is native to the Amazon and is considered an invasive species in California, suggesting it was likely brought here from elsewhere. “Somebody probably brought them when they moved here from another state. It happens,” Hughan reportedly said.
Pacus have also recently been found in Papua New Guinea, where they were likely introduced through the fishing industry.
It is not recommended to eat the Pacu as its skin absorbs chemicals and Hughan suggested if the fish is caught that it either be disposed of properly or taken to an aquarium.
As for the urban myth that it will attack a sensitive part of the male anatomy, Hughan told Fox 40, “No, they’re not going to go after male parts. That’s an urban myth.”
A Pacu was caught in New Jersey two months ago: