Oh, how awful

Most of our recent posts have been awful subjects: awful Tony Abbott, the awful prospect of an Abbott Government, awful Joe Hockey, the awful media, the awful prospect of climate change etc etc. Yes, they’ve all been awful.

Trying not to think of awful (in particular) Tony Abbott can only be achieved if something more awful comes to mind. In Abbott’s case it’s extremely hard. We can only have faith in the old adage that “if you want to get your mind of your toothache, then jam your finger in the door”.

After a day long search of the internet I’ve found something more awful than Tony Abbott. Well, maybe it’s on a par. Well, almost. But by sharing it here it gives us the rare opportunity to talk about other awful stuff than our favourite awful topic.

It comes with a word of warning (from me) to our male readers and you may wish to skip this post. It might make you feel somewhat squeamish or uncomfortable. Hmmm.

I introduce to you, courtesy of damninteresting.com, the terrifying toothpick fish by Alan Bellows. If, after reading Alan’s piece (below) you can come up with something just as awful, then please share it with us. Even if it is about Tony Abbott. 😉

Now to the innocent sounding and cute looking toothpick fish:

The vast freshwater ecosystem of the Amazon River is home to abundant animal life, and many of its species thrive by virtue of their ferocity. If one were to ask the locals which of the river’s indigenous species is the most treacherous, a few might describe the roaming packs of  carnivorous piranhas, or the massive anaconda snakes; but based on the general sentiment of the region, the most frequently uttered response would be “candirú.”

The candirú is a tiny catfish which dwells in the depths of the Amazon River.  These fish do not hunt in packs like the piranha, nor are they exceptionally large like the anaconda.  In fact, the candirú is among the tiniest vertebrates on the planet, and it is sometimes referred to as the “toothpick fish” due to its small size and slender shape.  Only a handful of people have had the misfortune of crossing paths with the candirú, but their experiences serve as cautionary tales to any who venture into the mighty river. Though the candirú is a parasite, humans are not among its viable hosts.  It lingers in the murky darkness at the river’s bottom, quietly stalking its neighboring fish.  Light is scarce in the soupy deep, but the candirú does not need to see… it can taste the traces of urea and ammonia that are expelled from breathing gills.

The tiny hunter shadows its prey, almost invisible due to its translucent body and small size.  When the target fish exhales, the candirú detects the resulting flow of water and makes a dash for the exposed gill cavity with remarkable speed.  Within less than a second it penetrates the gill and wriggles its way into place, erecting an umbrella-like array of spines to secure its position.

Unconcerned with the host’s panicked thrashing, the firmly anchored parasite immediately nibbles a hole in a nearby artery with its needle-like teeth, feasting upon the bounty that gushes forth.  Within two minutes the candirú’s belly is swollen with the blood of its victim, and it retracts its gripping barbs.

Though it may seem that the exploited host fish has escaped, its injuries are so extensive that chances of survival are grim.  Meanwhile the victorious attacker slinks back into the river’s dark places to digest its meal.

There are many troubling stories regarding human run-ins with the candirú, though until recent years these were not given much credence by the medical community.  It is not uncommon for people swimming or bathing in the river to urinate in the water, an action which creates tiny water currents that are rich in urea and ammonia.  It seems that the tiny, slender catfish cannot always distinguish a urinating human from an exhaling fish gill, and on occasion it will attempt its trademark high-speed attack on some unfortunate soul.

Silvio Barbossa was one such soul.  He was swimming in the Amazon River when he went head to head with the tiny parasite:

“I felt like urinating.  I stood up, and it was then it attacked me.  The candirú attacked me. […] When I saw it, I was terrified.  I grabbed it quickly so it couldn’t go deeper inside.  I could only see the end of its tail flapping.  I tried to grab it, but it slipped away from me and went in. […]  I was very afraid, because the candirú bites.”

When the candirú successfully invades a human, it proceeds exactly as it would with a fish host.  After entering the misidentified orifice, it quickly wriggles its way in as far as possible, often accompanied by the victim’s frantic attempts to grip the slippery, mucus-coated tail.  In the unlikely event that the panicked victim manages to grasp the fish, its backwards-pointing barbs would cause excruciating pain at each pull, and bring a quick end to the dramatic tug-of-war.  Once inside, the parasite inches its way up the urethra to the nearest blood-gorged membrane, extends its spines into the surrounding tissue, and starts feasting.

For the candirú, this misguided journey is a one-way trip; its bloody banquet leaves it too swollen to escape.  The only known retaliation against the invader is delicate and expensive surgery, or failing that, a folk remedy which combines two herbs to very slowly kill and dissolve the fish.  Silvio was fortunate enough to have access to modern medical facilities, though he had to endure three days of profound agony before the fish was extracted by an awestruck urogenital surgeon.

Silvio’s incident was the first officially confirmed report of a candirú attacking a human, but such leg-crossingly horrific tales have haunted the region for generations.  According to legend, many men chose castration as an alternative to a slow, excruciating death back before surgery was an option.

Though such brushes with the candirú are exceedingly rare in statistical terms, it is wise to heed the advice of the locals, and avoid urinating in the Amazon River at all costs.  When the natives of the Amazon speak, one would be foolish not to listen.  They are privy to some of the world’s most horrible truths.


82 comments on “Oh, how awful

  1. So now I have this vision of Abbott as the candirú of Australian politics. A vision seen which now cannot be unseen.

    On a completely different subject, would it be feasible to get all members of the Catholic Clergy to have a swimming holiday in the Amazon? In the interests of Occupational Health and Safety?

  2. So Min, where is the difference a slimy tail a long thin body and a bloodsucking propensity….

  3. Min, the post might be how awful Abbott is, but many of our visitors are more interested in telling us how awful our PM is.

    Miniature catfish must be frightening as well as awful.

    As awful as they are, I do not believe they can inflict the damage on us, as the awful Mr. Abbott can.

  4. Archie, I believe that a certain cardinal found a place just as awful yesterday. Was trapped in it for four and half long hours.

    I am sure he will have nightmares for years to come.

    He has a Royal Commission to come.

  5. Signe, I can’t say that Abbott’s derrier does much for me. The cute little fish is far more attractive.

  6. So now I have a new nick name for the LOTO – Candiru.

    A beast that attacks without provocation, is concerned only with it’s own wants, who leaves others in a far worse state, and who slinks off to hide only to strike again. And we have failed to learn the importance of the old adage, “Once bitten, twice shy”

  7. no argument from Me Min, nothing about either is appealing imnsho Jill slinking off and multiple strikes yep…with you there.

  8. Amazingly funny but is it true? . . . . . However –
    It will be a feeling of extreme pain felt by Ms Dillard and the Plucked Swan
    on the morning of 15/9 , would strongly suggest they both take a massive dose of
    ‘the morning after pill!’

  9. Just reported. Australia ranked the happiest of all industrialised nations.

    Abbott elected Australia ranked as the most miserable.

  10. Min, I would like to send the shadow front bench into a forest heavily infested with drop bears. All part of the Clean Up Australia campaign.

  11. I wouldn’t know about that, Voyager, but I hear they’ve been very active between Brisbane and Sydney.

  12. I will never let my 21 year old son read this. He recently ‘shared’ with me that one of his greatest ‘fears’ was about ever having to require a tube up the wotsit to drain off urine … he doesn’t scare easily, but that idea terrifies him. This would give him nightmares!!

  13. Scaper, I would hardly say that Tony Abbott is a self inflicted problem, assuming that Min was referring to Tony Abbott. Given her write up in the topic, I assume I’m correct.

  14. Would that be the chatter about the Liberal candidates for preselection ‘list’ for the seat of Warringah??

  15. NPC. Today. Another view on the value of growth. What should we expect from our economy.

    Growth is bad.

    Professor Ian Lowe, President of the Australian Conservation Foundation.

  16. No open petrol stations in the middle of the night in broken hill? now that’s truly awful 😯 does that mean that any yobos out late will have to steal their petrol if they run out? Truly shocking 😯 😯

    Cheers 😀

  17. Funny how I could buy fuel on the Nullarbor Plain in the middle of the night. Thought that Broken Hill would be civilised enough to afford one Roadhouse.

    But then again…

  18. It is awful. Minister for Lyons, is now moving a motion that accepts man made climate change. Has pointed out, there is bipartisan support. Some shadow minsters are enraged.

    Rob is enjoying himself.. Speaker was amazed when Tony agreed to the motion.

    Yes, Rob is rambling, but saying what needs to be said.

    Is now talking about the replacement policy. One that is going to cost more and do less. Has not mentioned the words, Direct Action.

  19. I’ve driven through Broken Hill about 50 times and only once did I do it in the middle of the night – my first trip. I quickly learnt that smart people don’t like kangaroos bouncing off their cars.

    When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

    Or you can do what Scaper does. 😇

  20. But I must admit it’s hard to get a Pizza up there when Happy Joe’s shuts for the night. 🍕

  21. No sense of adventure or a city dude.

    Camped between Cockburn and the Hill that night, woke about four and drove to the Hill. The method was to shadow a truck and let him clear the way. Followed a vehicle transporter who flashed his hazards as he was about to mow down a roo.

    Was a hoot dodging roos bouncing at windscreen height, not a hit but plenty of blood on the vehicle. Wish I had a video recorder on.

    After waiting around for fuel I set off again. This time I followed a couple of country boys in a Landcruiser with a steel roo mower on the front. They hit one big roo, it went under and lifted the back wheels off the ground. They regained control and we stopped to check for damage.

    A bit of quick panel work, a good laugh then off we went with me shadowing. They waved my by at Wilcannia and I got home in Brisbane for dinner. My next road trip will be Darwin.

  22. Scaper, my visits were work related. Company car and all that.

    And I certainly have a sense of adventure. And I’m not a city dude.

    You presume too much.

    One can still have a sense of adventure while being careful at the same time. Perhaps you don’t know anybody who has been killed because their car hit a ‘roo. I do. It teaches you to show a bit of respect on the road. And yep, I’ve hit a ‘too while 4W driving in the Flinders Ranges. Nissan Patrol unharmed but I still don’t like to kill animals on the road.

  23. What, investigating UFO sightings there?

    I thought the hot spot was east of Dubbo.

    Hey, I made it to Perth and back without incident so must have been doing something right. I reckon the best part was camped on the Nullarbor under the Southern Cross smoking a Cuban and washing it down with eighteen year old Scotch.

    Nah, was getting back home to my girls.

  24. My trips were back in the 80s when the drought saw more kangaroos drifting further south from the far outback and feeding on roadside vegetation. I was also taking the bad road from Mildura, much more wildlife on that road and lots more trees to hide them than the Barrier Highway. Is it the Barrier? I can’t remember.

    Don’t know about the cigar or the Scoth but I can handle looking at the stars. Seen anything weird in the skies you might like to tell me about? Such as 👽?

  25. No, we laughed because the vehicle was bouncing down the road like a bucking bull, could have got nasty. I see, if a kangaroo jumps out in front of a vehicle it is the drivers fault. You live in a weird wold, worm!

  26. …… and on the subject of travel by night, many locals, here in the Hill, never like to travel at night because of, not only the roo’s, but Emu’s, sheep, cows, goats …..and the trucks, with their mini-suns on their cow catchers…. very dangerous to travel at night out our way.
    …we had an all hours Servo untill recently, it’s hours were curtailed because of ‘hoon behaviour’ by rev-heads, drunken behaviour etc, and the damage and disruption to the neighbourhood.
    But ….. as we speak….1 km out on the Adelaid Rd a 24hr Roadhouse/Truck Stop is about to be built.

  27. Nice place, the Hill. Love the architecture. Off all the places I drove through on the crossings I would say the the Hill and Coonabarabran were without doubt the most alluring.

  28. scaper, if a kangaroo is hit, the driver is to blame. Yes, the driver has a duty to drive in a safe manner at all times. If one knows there is the danger of kangaroos crossing the road, one should remain alert and drive accordingly.

    One slows down in pouring rain. One takes care on a slippery road,

    Yes, scaper, the driver has to take responsibility.

    Any sensible person, in these circumstances would perceive the danger.

    It is called commonsense.

    One that has spent their lives in such situations, have fewer excuses.

  29. Abbott has listen, heard and deal is dead.

    Did not say who he listened too.

    Hunt out saying, that Labor changed deal Abbott agreed to. Half hearted, soon gave up when challenged.

    A little suspicious, when he did not see the final draft.

    Government does not rule out some type of reform bill, without the cash, before this session sits.

    Yes, the one we now have, removing the money would do.

    How could Abbott oppose that. He has already agreed to this. Only difference is no money.

  30. Now we have a radio announcer, too slow witted to know what is coming out of his mouth. Maybe Abbott suffers from the Eddie complaint as well.

  31. One thing for sure, Eddie and Tony both suffer from, is not knowing when to shut up.

    The Liberal party trying to justified Abbott’s action in reneging on his written promise, is only making things worse. Especially when they have to lie to do so.

  32. I see you are up to one of your tricks…post blitzkrieg. Posting absolute crap to end discussion.

    At least you are not editing your published posts. Don’t understand why you have access to the Dashboard…not as if you actually write posts. Copy and paste is the best it gets for you!

  33. Signe and So Min, where is the difference a slimy tail a long thin body and a bloodsucking propensity….. Not much. Apologies for lack of input..I’m currently at Tweed Heads after which I’m heading to Darling Harbour to give a few blow jobs..at least that’s what I’ve read about me.. 😯

  34. Scaper, do not suggest that Fed up has ever edited her own posts. She is Admin on this blog, but I can assure you..she had never ever edited anything..therefore your accusation should be withdrawn. Fed up is a very ethical person, and anyone who says otherwise is a liar and a fraud.

  35. scaper at seventy I have trouble seeing and editing what I write in this window. Very bad when editing my own work.

    When reading after submission the typing errors jump out at me.

    So not to inflict such errors on others, I do make corrections. I have never, and I will repeat, ever change the sense of what I have written.

    I am happy to do the same for others. if they require typos to be corrected.

    scaper, what in the hell is wrong with this.

    Unlike you scaper, I make mistakes. Long way from perfect typist. My English and spelling sometimes leave much criticize. Thankfully I am able to recognize my mistakes,

    Reith likes the fact, Tony listens to his own people. Very honest about it as well. Reith then goes on with the No tax under..Uses a lie to defend Abbott, Reith tying himself in knots,. Drum.

  36. scaper, why not respond to the contents of what I have written. By the way, there was no changes made in that comment.,

    Does not a driver have responsibility to drive with care, when they know kangaroos are around,

    Do you really believe the kangaroo is to blame, or the careless driver?

  37. scaper, just reread your comment. I have never ever edited anyone else’s comment.

    Show me the proof.

    Sometimes when asked, I will go into t a comment when asked, to allow a picture to show up, but only after being asked.

    scaper, have the guts to show what I have edited.

  38. Reith. Cardinal Pell is concerned about Gonski. Maybe, but I have seen reports from Catholic Education, who are not.

    As we know Pell carries no authority. He told us so this week, in Victoria.

  39. Rudd selling his Canberra home. Needs to do so before the election. If Abbott gets in, sacks those PS, the bottom will fall out of the property market.

    “HAS Kevin Rudd had a pre-election premonition – or is he just waiting to reclaim his prime ministerial throne in the Lodge?

    Canberra tongues are wagging furiously following news Mr Rudd and his wife Therese Rein have listed their “sophisticated and luxurious” Yarralumla residence, for a budget-fixing $2.25 million.

    The former PM moved out of the five-bedroom property almost 18 months ago – when his youngest son finished high school in the national capital – but the decision to sell has some musing about whether Mr Rudd is planning to draw the curtains on his political care

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national-news/federal-election/kevin-rudd-puts-his-canberra-home-on-the-market-before-september-election/story-fnho52ip-1226653878398#ixzz2UlnSsyhn..”

  40. scaper, I have written many posts. Mostly back in the days when Michael was unwell. Do not feel the need to do so now, as many more, better authors have appeared.

    As for cut and paste. Just making sure, anything that is worthwhile, gets extensive viewing. One can just scroll past, if it bores them. I suspect many do.
    If something arises, that whets my appetite, I will once again post.

    scaper, who is feeding you the rubbish you are writing about me. Does not take much imagination to work out who. scaper, be aware, they have hidden agendas based on hate.

  41. Says it all.

    ……………It went on the market yesterday and its internet listing is already doing a brisk trade.

    Mr Rudd and Ms Rein purchased the property in October 2010 for $2.175 million – so they are selling at only a modest profit. But with Canberra property sales set to tumble if Tony Abbott surges into office – and then goes about axing thousands of public service jobs – it might be that Brisbane-based couple are simply selling up before the bottom falls out of the market.

    The ex-Labor leader is playing a straight bat when quizzed about the timing of the sale.

    “The family left the house at the end of 2011 at the conclusion of Marcus’ Year 12 studies. The house has been rented since that time,” a spokesman for Mr Rudd said.

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national-news/federal-election/kevin-rudd-puts-his-canberra-home-on-the-market-before-september-election/story-fnho52ip-1226653878398#ixzz2Ulppm5fm

  42. Fed up, keep cut’n and paste’n, it helps many a reader here at CW to Catch Up with a range of ‘topical’ news and views, I for one appreciate your efforts…….as I am sure many a reader here would agree. 😀

  43. Actually Fu you’re not cutting and pasting, you’re copying and pasting.

    Good work. It’s done in context, is relevant and the source is given. Can’t ask for anything more.

  44. Möbius Ecko, Here! Here! to that. Or should it be Hear! Hear! Who cares?

    Fed up keeps me on my toes. I could never get through the amount of reading and referencing she does for us. Her links are always spot on. Many thanks, Fu!

  45. Can I have access to the Dashboard so I can alter my posts too?

    Funny how you lot condemn the MSM but are quite happy to link to them to support your ideology. If some of it does not suit your view you just cut it out.

    Min’s link to an article that was condemning Labor the other week was a classic!

  46. scaper, gee you are jealous.

    Please tell me why it annoys you so. As I said, I also use the privilege to help others, when needed.

    The truth is, it is none of your business.

    scaper, the words you are using in this exchange, are not yours. They have all been aimed at me by others. others no longer around.

    scaper, please do not let yourself be used.

    scaper, we take all the good that is available in the MSM. There is a lot, but sometimes overlooked. I see it as helping along the few doing the right thing.

    We also take what is bad in the MSM and challenge it.

    Once again, what is wrong with that.

    Would you like us to make things up, and only post our own opinions.

  47. scaper, have you noticed in the MSM, they also cut and paste their stories. There is sadly today, very little investigative journalism. Very little difference between Fairfax and the Murdoch stable.Very little difference between papers printed in every state.

    Thanks all for your support. I believe the cut and paste is only providing links to the topic. Supplying facts as well.

    PS scaper, I need to go behind that dashboard, to enable the pictures to show,

  48. scaper, I have not altered the posts. That is the point. I have corrected typos, that in no way alter the content

    How is that unethical.

    Grow up and let it go. Concentrate on replying to the content.

  49. How about direct sources then scaper? Seems Oakey is shooting down your beloved Whiney’s “plans” in flames. 😆

    Insider? 🙄 Mover & shaker? 😆 🙄 😆 Scumbucket being ruthlessly used by the rich & powerful? – that about sums it up 🙄

    31 May 2013
    At 8.39am today I received first notice via an email from Christopher Pyne that he has written to me on a No Confidence motion.I have spent the week in Canberra with him, and he made no mention of this issue. No MP from the LNP mentioned this issue. The only Confidence issue in Parliament this week was the Liberal National Party, including Christopher Pyne and Tony Abbott, voting in support of the science of man-made climate change. I am pleased they expressed full confidence in the science community of Australia, and now openly accept man-made climate change as real and in need of a serious policy response.This week, no journalist mentioned anything about a no confidence motion from the LNP.This is despite conversations with The Australian newspaper’s Lauren Wilson about 6pm last night, where I indicated a view on the paper’s anti-NBN campaign that asbestos issues in pits and pipes are an issue for Telstra management and shareholders, and this is exactly why it would be madness to buy these pits and pipes as is current Liberal National Party policy on NBN. I note these comments didn’t make the paper. Yesterday afternoon, I also spoke with Sid Maher from The Australian about another story.He has my personal number, and I am surprised he chose to run this No Confidence trick story from Chris Pyne, without checking facts or offering a right of reply. Only 12 hours earlier, he used my phone so he knows it works.Chris Pyne also has my personal phone number, and at times he and Sid Maher have used it at their convenience. It is telling that neither chose to use it when designing a page one story that further destabilises Government based on the story alone.Onto the guessing game of the substance of this letter from Chris Pyne – my first response is “how pathetic”.If Mr Abbott and Mr Pyne, and his colleagues truly believe this to be the worst government in the history of the world, and their alternative option as the key to world peace, then I invite them to put their case on the floor of the Parliament. Grovelling to the crossbench,and giving letters to journalists before they are posted or emailed, and threatening to do something for week upon week upon week, builds the view that this is just the shallow tactics of destabilising, and has nothing to do with the substance of the most serious charge they are making. 31 May 2013

    Read it in total here:

  50. Oh dear, sockpuppet. If you read my post last weekend I was stating nothing unless question marks indicate such in your mind.

    I know the strategy and by the way this is going will be clear to pissants like you in the future.

    How does it feel to have his hand up your arse???

  51. I wouldn’t know scaper – I always thought his hand was deeply entrenched in your lower colon 😆

  52. Do others leave the question marks off to annoy scaper?

    Makes no difference, as he never replies to what is in the comments.

    Go off on his own tangent, anyway.

  53. scaper, still no explanation as to why what I do is unethical. Not that I expect an answer. Question marks or not.

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