Goliath Tigerfish Fresh Water Monsters
Each time a person was attacked by the Goliath Tigerfish, they were wearing some sort of reflective object, were splashing in the water or both.
The Goliath Tigerfish (Hydrocynus goliath) is found in a very remote part of Africa, in a very remote part of a difficult river to reach called the Congo river. Boats are hard to come by. The area is politically unstable and the river flows very fast at some locations. The Congo river drains a significant portion of Africa and is the second largest river outside of the Amazon in terms of river flow. At some points, the river is 10 miles wide.
The Goliath Tigerfish is known by many names including the demon fish, giant tigerfish, and the Mbenga. It can be found in the Congo River Basin, Lualaba River, Lake Upemba and Lake Tanganyika. It is difficult to catch and very few outside of its distribution have even heard of it.
The Myth and Superstition
The Goliath Tigerfish is feared by those that live along the river. There are many stories that tell of a possessed fish that seeks out people. There are stories of little girls and babies being attacked in the shallows as they were being washed or playing in the water. There are stories of fishermen being attacked from Goliath Tigerfish leaping out of the water, knocking them into the water and eating them.
Goliath Tigerfish Strength
The Goliath Tigerfish has a double hinged jaw with long serrated teeth that interlock when the mouth is closed. The jaw is designed to allow the fish to open its mouth wide while the teeth are designed to cut anything it bites in half. Some have compared this fish to the Piranha of the Amazon river and rightfully so. It has the same teeth pattern and sharpness but the Goliath Tigerfish grows much bigger.
An adult can grow as large as six feet and reach well over 100 lbs. It is very strong, and can strike with a burst of speed much like that of a Arapaima. Very few that have been attacked by the Goliath Tigerfish live to tell the tail. While a single hit may not cause critical blood loss, the blow can knock one unconscious, which may lead to drowning or death from blood loss. This fish is just as deadly as a great white shark while being a fraction of its size.
The Demon Fish Curse
The Goliath Tigerfish is a cursed fish. Locals believe the fish to be possessed. They believe that if someone places a curse of them and are on the river, the Tigerfish will leap out of the water and kill them or take them while they are in the water. Fisherman that do enter the water and fish the Congo seek out the protection of which doctors. Even when caught by an angler, it still has the power to attack and inflect a death blow. One thing is certain, the fish must be respected.
Separating Fact from the Myth
Each time a person was attacked by the Goliath Tigerfish, they were wearing some sort of reflective object, were splashing in the water or both. The Goliath Tigerfish do not seek out and hunt people, but if a person is disrupting the water and has shiny objects on its person, a life-killing strike may occur. Humans are not part of its diet. In those cases where a body was found, the body was not eaten. When in its habitat, care must be given to how one proceeds when entering the water. Due to the murkiness, proceed cautiously as you would not know it is there until it attacks.