Piranha used as scissors

[Video Link] A man who desperately needed to cut a stick into small pieces was assisted by a kindly piranha at the Cuyabeno Rainforest in Ecuador. (Via Arbroath)


  1. Yes yes, the swarming, the razor-sharp teeth, etc., but it’s the red eyes that really catapult those little fuckers into nightmare land for me.

  2. And, in the meantime, your “scissors” are suffocating. Idiot.

    /yes, I’m being “that guy” for this thread.

    1.  Don’t worry, that was my first thought as well.

      Made me imagine a giant squid holding a human being underwater, forcing it to do something mildly amusing.

      1.  I felt this way at first. Then I remembered that IT’S A PIRANHA. One of the most deadly, terror inducing, and just plain awful animals on the planet.

        Ok. Quick check with Wikipedia says that the terrible piranha is mostly a myth. But seriously, abuse? More like field research.

    2. That’s not an unfair thought, and it crossed my mind too… but the next thought to cross my mind is “I’ve eaten one or more products of commercial fisheries in my lifetime, I can STFU.” If you’re not a vegetarian (it’s OK, I’m not), you’re probably responsible for much worse than stressing out a piranha for your own amusement. You pay other people to do them to animals for you every time you get groceries. It’s just that we’re safely detached from the harm until it’s right on camera.

      And admittedly, in this video it’s not even for the purpose of a decent meal. But humans have been using animals as tools and resources for most of our time as sentient beings. Does the motive of the human really make that much of a different to a fish gasping for air? Is this really that much worse than a plate of Van de Kamps? The piranha probably at least got chucked back in and allowed to live for his trouble.

      It’s not the “that guyness” of the objection that worries me, it’s the feeling that the video is being treated way out of proportion because it’s unfamiliar, while much more familiar forms of harm illogically get a free pass because they’re not shown to us out of context like this. It’s reminiscent of people who would scream bloody murder if you described the slaughter of a cow as a “pagan sacrifice”, but would have no problem if you performed the exact same act, minus the ritual, as a “Fourth of July barbecue.” Is it really just the suffering of the animal that’s tweaking our gut reactions here, or are there other factors at work? (FWIW, I’m definitely a carnivore myself, but I think it’s valuable to confront this stuff.)

      I’m not offended or anything, I think you still made a perfectly reasonable complaint. But I do think it’s worth examining these things in full context — it’s easy for anyone to get distracted amid all the information overload these days…

    3. I thought that too : (. But at least the guide says “rápido, rápido” (“quick, quick”). That made me think that he was waiting for some tourist to get his camera rolling so he could return the piraña to the river.

    4. Don’t worry about your scissors, the piranha is only good for a few chomps before it chokes to death from the little bits bit off and lodged in  its throat.

  3. so he didn’t have the foresight to bring some sort of pocketknife, but he did have the foresight to bring a fishing pole/net? unless he just grabbed the fish out of the water bare-handed, in which case we are being cheated out of the most interesting part of the video

  4. “A man who desperately needed to cut a stick into small pieces” more like a “A man who desperately wanted to try and be cool and film it”? I really doubt he desperately needed to cut that stick, and maybe he should put the d*mn fish back in the water before it dies.

      1. That sounds like a challenge! Let’s see… ok, he’s a rain forest guide who shows the tourists the wonders and dangers of the rainforest. One of them being our friendly pair of scissors here. He’s sure happy to have this cushy job. But alas! If he doesn’t ham it up for the tourists, he’ll get replaced by the next guide who’s willing to be just that much more amusing. So if Mr. Fishy And Off-Camera doesn’t do this, he won’t easily be able to feed his family.

        There! A story wherein he really does desperately need to cut that stick! With a piranha!

    1. I’m pretty sure he has no intention of allowing it to live. You are from a very different world than the man holding the camera is from. Piranha can tear the meat from bone of a capybara in minutes.  

  5. Piranha used as scissors? Isn’t it technically speaking more used as a wire cutter?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Side_cutter 
    Scissors are shearing to cut things off, and although the piranha teeth might be slightly shearing I think they are mainly cutting. (Sorry, I have had a hard day, had to make a besserwisser comment…) 

  6. Would it be possible to cross the video of scissors piranha with the audio of nononono cat?

  7. I love and respect animals more than most people you’ll ever meet (yes, I’m vegan).  I’m the guy who carefully picks up spiders in the bathroom and carries them to a safe place so they won’t drown or get stepped on.  That being said, I really didn’t get the impression from watching this video that the fish was particularly stressed by the experience.  He wasn’t flopping around gasping; he was like, “f this – I’m gonna bite the shit outta something!”.  I’ve seen enough fish flopping around gasping in the holds of ships and on the banks of lakes.  They’re stressed.  This guy really didn’t seem to be.  And… yikes.

    1. It’s defenseless, unable to move, and out of the water. The fish make no voices nor expressions either. You’re really not the sharpest person around if you think it’s not afraid of what might come next.

      1. Hell – I’m not out of my element, and I’m still afraid of what might come next. Maybe the piranha could give you some help with that stick that seems to be troubling you. I gave up meat 30 years ago because I care about animals.

    1.  I remember that episode! It seems that Mr. Slate saw Wilma biting sticks into small pieces.  He offered her a job as “Miss Stickcutter” to promote the stone quarry, but Fred was determined that “no wife of his” would take a job outside the home.

  8. You piranha lovers should start a protest march:
    “Two, four, six, eight!
    If you use a piranha as a scissors it will suffocate!
    What do we want?!
    For people not to use piranhas as scissors on the internet!
    When do we want it?!
    The people united,
    Will never be defeated,
    When we protest discomfort for a fish!
    Especially fish that are funny on the internet!
    Yes we can!!!!!”

Comments are closed.