8th Place: Piranhas
A refreshing bath together with hundreds of piranhas in the Amazon River (South America). Dangerous or not? And what if you have a small cut with blood coming out? These 30cm long predatory fish get their prey in their sights, swim up to them lightning fast, bite and then use a wobbling motion to rip pieces of meat from their victim. Piranhas are known all over the world for their aggression, but aren’t nearly as dangerous for humans as some people think. Why?
The Piranha Myth
One of the best-known reports likely put piranhas in a bad light: the former US President Theodore Roosevelt published a report in 1914 about something spectacular. A small section of river was separated off using nets and filled with several thousand hungry piranhas. A sick, old, bleeding cow was then put into the water. Three guesses what happened next. The cow was killed by the fish, but this was definitely not a normal situation. After all, the local South American natives wouldn’t simply bathe in the water with piranhas. They are generally interested in the dead bodies of animals, acting as a kind of “environmental police”, keeping the area free of disease.