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Deadly fish carrying poison '1,200 deadlier than cyanide' washes up on UK beach

Anish Vij

| Last updated 

Deadly fish carrying poison '1,200 deadlier than cyanide' washes up on UK beach

A dangerously poisonous fish was found mysteriously washed up on a UK beach.

Up to '1,200 deadlier than cyanide', the fish was spotted on Towan Beach in Newquay, Cornwall by Constance Morris, who was on a family holiday.

One oceanic puffer is capable of killing 30 adult humans, while there happens to be no known antidote.

If you happen to see a 'Lagocephalus lagocephalus', the recommendation is to not go anywhere near it.


Morris, who records dead marine animals for the trust’s Marine Strandings Network, said that the fish was certainly an 'unusual find'.

She said: “While waiting for all the family to gather, I was just looking out over the beach when I noticed some black back gulls having a peck at a fish.

Credit: Pen News
Credit: Pen News

“I record dead marine animals for the trust’s Marine Strandings Network and couldn’t not go down to see what it was.


“As I walked up to the fish I instantly knew it was an unusual find.”

Thankfully, Morris said that she was wearing gloves at the time.

Morris continued: “It’s been identified by a few people as a Lagocephalus lagocephalus, the oceanic pufferfish, which can be highly toxic.

“So it’s advised you leave them alone and certainly don’t touch.


“I didn’t know what this fish was, but I’ve found odd fish before and know these animals can be important and of interest to scientists.

“So, being ever ready to scoop something unpleasant off the beach, I bagged it up and put it in my backpack.

“I am just lucky I carry a kit with me at all times for just this sort of thing.

“Good job I keep marigolds in my kit.”

The fish can kill 30 adult humans. Credit: Pen News
The fish can kill 30 adult humans. Credit: Pen News

Matt Slater, a marine conservation officer with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, confirmed that this was a genuine sighting.

“It is definitely Lagocephalus lagocephalus – the Atlantic oceanic puffer,” he said.

“They can produce toxic slime so they're best to handle with gloves.


“Like all puffers they produce tetrodotoxin which is dangerous – especially if eaten.”

Although the fish contains deadly poison, there are some restaurants in Japan that serve Lagocephalus, in the form of fugu, a notorious Japanese dish.

Fans of The Simpsons might remember the episode where Homer almost dies after eating a poisonous fugu fish at a sushi restaurant.

Chefs that work with the fish must have rigorous training and technique, which enables the flesh to be eaten safely.

Japanese government data suggests that 23 people died as a result of eating the dish between 2000 and 2012.

Featured Image Credit: Pen News

Topics: UK News, Animals

Anish Vij
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