Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Deadly Piranha

Today in the evening I was watching a programme on Animal Planet about piranhas where the fearless wild life enthusiast Jeremy Wade with nerve made of steel embarked on a venture to find out the truth behind piranha stories of eating humans alive within minutes. In his quest of finding out the truth, Jeremy threw himself into an Amazon river filled with piranhas to see if they would attack him or not and what triggers their feeding frenzy. But interestingly piranhas didn't attack him. Next in a swimming pool, a cluster of piranhas were made to starve for a day. The next day Jeremy threw a piece of meat into the pool to see their reaction and piranhas devoured the piece of meat within minutes. He then dived into the swimming pool but to his astonishment not a single piranha showed any interest in him. He probed deep into the case of an accident that occurred in the 70s when a bus spun out of control and headed on to the Amazon River. Around 40 people were dead and eaten alive.

The revelations he came across during the investigation is quite amazing. Piranhas don't attack their victims unless they are hungry, of course and unless the victims are hurt and bleeding. When the victims are in helpless condition or someway catching their attention, like in an incident piranhas attacked a group of 8 people swimming in the sea and their flailing arms and legs in the water during swimming caught notice. In the event of about 40 people eaten alive after an accident, the victims, injured and stuck inside the bus were desperately trying to come out and this helplessness alerted them about potential victims. If you stay still in water swimming slowly without thrashing about unnecessarily, chances of piranhas attacking you is slim, so I presume upon watching the programme. Hats off to Jeremy for his bold dare devilry and what's amusing he calls himself a "human guinea pig" every time he takes a risk upon himself.

Curiously enough, prima facie piranhas look quite cute, just like other small fishes but a close view revealing their razor sharp teeth give a hint of their murderous nature. Those of you interested in catching glimpses of the programme may check out the following videos:



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