The ongoing climate changes have meant that for a long time in the Mediterranean region, along with the coasts of Greece and Crete, the process of emergence of inflowing fish species not naturally occurring in this sea is observed. It's good to know that some of these animals can be dangerous to humans. Recently, one of the tourists relaxing on the island of Karpathos has found out about it. His stay at the Diakoftis beach was noticed by the sizable fish swimming in the surf zone. The animal aroused a lot of sensation among the sunbathers who not only eagerly watched them but also touched and even petted them. In the following video you can see how at some point the finger of the previously mentioned tourist was considered by this fish as an easy prey worth bites.
We do not know the further course of this story, because at this moment a short recording breaks off. We can, however, guess that the whole "adventure" ended up for this tourist quite painful souvenir. The fish that attacked him belong to the pufferfish of the species Lagocephalus sceleratus, whose natural habitat is the Red Sea region. Colloquially, due to the characteristic four fused teeth, this fish is called as a rabbit fish. Strong jaws are not the only dangerous arsenal that this species can boast of.
The second characteristic distinguishing this species from other fish is the strong poison tetrodotoxin contained in their skin and some internal organs. This substance is about 1200 times more toxic than cyanide. It is for this reason that touching these fish, let alone eating their meat, can be extremely dangerous for humans. Tetrodotoxin that gets into the body causes severe pain, convulsions and muscle paralysis. In extreme cases, its consumption leads to respiratory failure and consequent strangulation. Sounds dangerous enough, does not it?
For a long time, the presence of this species in the Mediterranean Sea has raised concerns among scientists. These fears are related not only to the danger posed by this fish to humans, but mainly due to the fact that currently there are no natural opponents in the sea. Their presence is a direct threat to fish naturally occurring in these waters. There is a high probability that this will reduce biodiversity in the Mediterranean in the future.
In the past, these fish were getting into the Mediterranean using the Suez Canal. Some scientists believe that due to the increase in water temperature and adaptation, this species has acquired reproductive capacity. Unfortunately, this will most likely result in an increase in the number of these fish also in the region of Greece and the islands there.
At the end, as a curiosity it is worth mentioning that the rabbit fish is related to the Fugu fish that are the basis for making a dish that is a delicacy in Japan. The preparation of any dish based on these fish is based on strictly defined rules. Currently, only licensed cooks with appropriate experience can prepare dishes from Fugu.
Unfortunately, the rabbit fish is not the only species inhabiting the Mediterranean in this way. A similar example can be given as an equally dangerous fish of the wing. This is another story of this type, and also a topic for a separate news.