Here's one for you, Peggysue.
I first heard about Vampire Fish when I was a teenager.
Some classmates were talking about a fish that waits for unwary swimmers, then swims up their you-know-what.
I was horrified at the thought that this could happen!!!
>However the reason that the Candiru is most feared by humans is because it is the only vertebrate known to parasitize humans! The fish is said to be addicted to the taste and smell of human urine. Candirus parasitize humans, when they are skinny-dipping while urinating in the water. The candiru tastes the urine stream and follows it back to the human. It then swims up the urethra and lodges itself somewhere in the urinary tract with its spines. Blood is drawn, and the candiru gorges itself on the blood and body tissue, its body sometimes expanding due to the amount of blood consumed.
Once inside it would eat away the mucous membranes and tissues until hemorrhage would kill it or the host. It was also said that even if one caught the fish by the tail, once in the urethra it could not be pulled out because it would spread itself like an umbrella. The Candiru can attack both men and women. Penectomy is generally preferred to the misery and pain associated with leaving the fish in the urethra<
While the members of the subfamily Vandelliinae feed on blood, members of Stegophilinae may feed on scales, mucus, or carrion.
This fish is feared to attack humans and swim into an orifice (the vagina, anus, or even the penis—and deep into the urethra). Because of spines protruding from the fish, it is almost impossible to remove except through surgery. The fish locates its host by following a water flow to its source and thus urinating while bathing increases the chance of a candirú homing in on a human urethra. Natives have also been known to bathe facing the current, as doing so would decrease the chances of the organism lodging itself in the rectum. Other orifices such as the penis or vagina are covered up with the use of hands<
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