If you recognize the aqua-monster from SYFY’s Snakehead Terror and Snakehead Swamp, it may not exactly be the beast of a fish it is in the movies, but in real life, it’s now become something to be afraid of.
Snakehead fish really do look like what their name suggests (even though they have no reptilian DNA). The northern snakehead, which can breathe outside of water, has one main thing in common with its movie doppelganger. It’s a vicious predator that devours native species as insatiably as the fictional version terrorizes humans in the films. This explains why, after one was unexpectedly caught just north of Atlanta, state officials gave the public some chilling orders.
“Kill it immediately (remember it can survive on land) and freeze it,” the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division urged in a recent statement about what to do if you encounter one.
While snakeheads have been seen creeping around in 14 states, this is the first time one has been found in Georgia. At least the fisherman who reeled it in (below) reported the sighting immediately, as reported by 11Alive News Georgia.
Wildlife Resources staff are now investigating the private pond where the fish was lurking to determine if there are any more where that came from.
If you want one of those “I told you what would happen if” stories, this is it. The northern snakehead is native to China, Russia, and both North and South Korea. It is believed to have invaded the U.S. when aquarium owners had enough of one particular exotic fish in their tank having the others for dessert. Snakeheads spawn as voraciously as they eat, laying up to 10,000 eggs a year, and can grow to three feet long. Never mind those teeth.
What could be the scariest thing about northern snakeheads is the organs they evolved that allow them to breathe air and stay alive on terra firma for several days. That just means more time to broaden their conquest. If a snakehead on land finds another body of water, it can continue to breed and spawn and clean out the species it calls food.
In the meantime, you know what to do if you see one flapping around.