So, have ANY Humans Ever Been Killed/eaten By Piranha fish?

I know, you have all seen the underwater photos-some poor capybara or deer ventures into a jungle river-and in seconds, the water is boiling with piranha fish! The poor animal is eaten alive, and within seconds (it seems), all that is left is a picked-clean skeleton. In all of my reading, I have never seen any verified instance of a human being killed in this way. also, I suspect that these films are made in ponds, which were cut off from the main rivers, such that the fish in them are extremely hungry. So, is it true that piranhas will swarm upon a living animal and eat it down to the bones?
or is this Hollywood exaggeration?

Well, not totally to the bone. Only almost totally.

I am certain that, over the long period of human beings living in those areas, that some, probably a large number, of people have been killed and eaten. Not that piranhas are super-lethal, actually, unless you can’t get out of the water. And even if you get in, there are methods of not settting them off.

I have raised quite a few piranha in my life. They are pretty in a tank. In all my reading, every article claimed no person has ever been killed by a piranha. I would not jump in with an open wound to test it though.

I have raised quite a few piranha in my life. They are pretty in a tank. In all my reading, every article claimed no person has ever been killed by a piranha. I would not jump in with an open wound to test it though.

I was watching the Blue Planet / Planet Earth series on DVD. One of the programs is on freshwater, and they get some shots of Piranhas eating some bait fish.
On the extras they have a documentary about the shooting of the documentary. It would appear they spent two weeks traipsing all over the Amazon looking for the fish, on the few occasions they found some, when they got into the water the piranahs would vanish fairly sharpish. In the two weeks they managed to get one shot of the piranahs eating a bait fish. So the danger may be a little overrated. That said, they did interview a few people who had some nasty bites single bites, but those were mostly fishermen who had caught one and were not being too careful.

There was another fish , a worm like wrass thingies that lived in the deeper waters of the Amazon, those things were nasty and stripped a dead fish on a hook in a minute.

Ralph, for heaven’as sake, pay attention where you are posting.

You have submitted a General Question, not a Great Debate.

off to GQ.

IIRC there was a documentary on TV about this that said the locals keep a very watchful eye because toddlers have been lost—they wander too close, fall in, etc. I don’t think they knew if the kid drowned and was then eaten, or if the blood loss caused them to drown.

I have see nature documentaries of peccaries being gnawed pretty clean. But piranhas aren’t stuck in permanent total psycho mode, either. They’re individually pretty fragile and don’t always, or even commonly, attack.

I read in an old book about explorers on the Amazon that one of the guides was pretty badly bitten and died later. Of course it could have been blood loss or infection, since this was pre-penicilin. I think they mentioned a fever?

Here’s a link that sez they aren’t so deadly as thought:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6259946.stm

When they bite a chunk is removed. It does not matter if bone or anything is in the way. it goes in a neat and clean bite. They have some real sharp teeth.