Meet the northern snakehead, a horrifying fish that is an invasive species and can breathe out of water and walk on land—and it's just been spotted in Louisiana for the first time. This fish truly is the stuff of nightmares. According to this National Geographic video, not only can the northern snakehead travel across land and live without water for up to three days, it also has a massive appetite, razor sharp teeth, and snapping jaws that can tear human flesh. Poor thing, it's almost like it was literally designed to be a monster in a horror film.
The northern snakehead, an invasive fish from Asia that out-eats and out-breeds many native species, was confirmed for the first time in Louisiana this week.
An angler spotted a pair of adult snakeheads and a mess of their babies in Old River, an oxbow lake branching off the Mississippi River in Concordia Parish, about 12 miles from Natchez, Miss.
"Our greatest concern is that they'll rapidly expand and have an impact on our Louisiana fisheries," said Rob Bourgeois, the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' aquatic nuisance species coordinator.
Snakeheads made their first appearance in the U.S. in a pond behind a strip mall in Maryland 21 years ago. Since then, the fish has spread to at least 12 other states.
Usually, measuring about three feet, the snakehead will eat just about anything it can sink its jagged little teeth into: crawfish, dragonflies and fish popular with anglers, like bass and crappie. They've been known to wriggle out of the water to poach lizards and tree frogs. Ducks, mice and even AA batteries have been found in snakehead bellies.
The snakehead can breathe air, a rare trait among fish that allows the species to gulp air while dwelling in shallow, low-oxygen waterways.
"They seem to live in places they shouldn't," Bourgeois. "It can be hot, shallow, grassy or poor water like in an agriculture ditch."
According to NOLA.com, Louisiana does not currently have a plan to contain the fish, but the pelican state will be quickly putting one together. And of course, because Louisiana gonna Louisiana, part of that plan might be to eat the darn things. NOLA.com:
There is one silver lining to a possible snakehead invasion. The mean, ugly fish are actually quite delicious, with a white, flaky meat that's not unlike cod. In Baltimore, they're featured on the menus of fancy restaurants.
After a little time in Louisiana, snakeheads may start popping up in po-boys.
If you're in Louisiana and spot one of these vile creatures, please report it to Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries by calling (225) 765-3977 or emailing.
Cute Creature Rating: 0/10. I'm so sorry folks, I dug deep but couldn't find anything cute about this one.