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Twitter Saves Man From Eating Deadly Fish

A Japanese student was about to eat a scrawled filefish, which boasts a toxin 70 times more poisonous than that of fugu, the popularly eaten pufferfish.

In the wake of the election, the internet can be scary place. With the plague of fake news, political polarity and online trolls, it can sometimes seem like going offline is the healthiest option. Unless, of course, you have just reeled in a fish you have no idea is incredibly deadly, BuzzFeed reports.

Such was the lot of a college student in Japan with the Twitter handle Narathiga. Each month, Narathiga goes out to fish the waters of Japan, and this month was no different. He soon reeled in a large, oil-colored fish with golgi-apparatus–like squiggles on its body, a fish so impressive that it warranted a tweet and a photo.



Little did Narathiga know, however, he had not actually caught a thread-fin filefish. He had caught a scrawled filefish, a similar-looking cousin of the thread-fin in all senses except the bright blue squiggles and the overwhelmingly lethal amount of poison that runs through the veins of the scrawled filefish.

The scrawled filefish can grow up to 3.5 feet long and sports a distinctive olive sheen with ripples of meandering blue across its body. Its intestines boast a toxin 70 times more poisonous than that of fugu, the popularly eaten pufferfish. So Narathiga was in deep, deep trouble.



But the internet came to his rescue, with a flurry of folks warning Narathiga of the poison that lay inside the filefish. Replies spanned the range of "You can't eat the intestine!!" to "Are you dead?"


Commenters seemed especially worried when Narathiga failed to respond shortly after the status, which he chalks up to an unhappy coincidence:

“About the scrawled filefish: I released it when I received a reply of warning. I didn’t drain blood or anything, so it swam away. Also about not responding, I was at a place with no reception and my battery died, so I could not reply soon. I apologize for causing troubles.”


It seems Narathiga was not the first to seek out the sage advice of the internet regarding scrawled filefish consumption. In 2005 on the online fishing forum, the user bamagreg asked if scrawled filefish were safe to consume. The answer came almost immediately:


“No, the filefish (also called foolfish, leatherjacket or shingle fish) is dangerously poisonous. Not only is the flesh poisonous, but also the liver, gall bladder, roe and reproductive organs can cause illness if eaten. There are some edible species but I would not take the chance.”


Luckily for Narathiga, Twitter might be the best dichotomous key out there.


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