Horrifying invasive fish is so scary, Australians are afraid of it

Scientists are worried the climbing perch is basically coming to eat Australia. Run for your lives.


Aja Romano

Internet Culture

Published Jun 5, 2015   Updated May 28, 2021, 3:58 pm CDT

Australian scientists are freaking out because a killer fish that walks on land and has lungs is coming to destroy everything in its path.

The climbing perch is an “aggressive” species of fish that is gradually making its way south from its native territory of Southeast Asia to Australia. Authorities fear that it could wreak havoc on the local habitat because of the following fishy factors:

  • It has both gills and lungs.
  • It can survive in both fresh water and salt water.
  • It can live on land for up to six days.
  • If swallowed by a larger fish, a bird, or other predator, it fights back by swelling up and choking the predator.
  • It’s an invasive species that can quickly take out major players along the food chain.
  • It reportedly eats, or tries to eat, anything it comes in contact with.

In short, run for your lives from the terror of the seas, the demon fish, the…


…Wait, this fish is super-cute. Surely it can’t be all that terrifying? 

Turns out the climbing perch is an ornamental fish, sometimes considered a yummy food in parts of India and Southeast Asia. Although it supposedly gets up to 10 inches long, it’s usually much smaller than that. 

Not only that, it neither climbs nor perches. Talk about false advertising!

It does, however, walk on land. Which is pretty freaky. 

OK, so maybe this fish is a little worrisome. But on the scale of invasive species humanity needs to worry about, surely it’s no more terrifying than kudzu.

Then again, kudzu is actually terrifying.

That’s it; we’re doomed.

Screengrab via JCU Media/YouTube

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*First Published: Jun 5, 2015, 10:04 pm CDT