Real or Fake? Bizarre ‘fish with human teeth’ found in Malaysia
Is it too good to be true or has the too good finally come true? On the 15th of July 2020, @raff_nasir tweeted a picture of a bizarre-looking fish that had large lips and a straight set of teeth that pretty much looks like human teeth. Since then, over 8100 retweets, 14000 likes, and many official news channels have also retweeted and reported this incident. While many fishes have been reported in the past to have human-like teeth, this one, in particular, had a unique shape.
Thick lips are not a strange feature of this fish, however, the well-aligned teeth rose suspicion. Experts in this field have denied the presence of such fish and were described as an excellent photoshop attempt. "I would be happily wrong, but I'm fairly confident this one is a photoshop", added another fisherman. This type of fish is known as "triggerfish" or "chicken fish", and has over 40 types which can be found in shallow or coastal water but some can also be found deep in the ocean. Chicken fish are quite aggressive, its strong teeth can tear sea urchins and tear diving suits. Interestingly, not only this fish has thick lips and white teeth.
Other fish types such as "sheepshead" fish which is commonly found in the United States have several rows of human-like teeth in their mouths. Muscular jaws allow these fish to use up clams, crabs, and oysters. Other fish types such as the blue dolphin and Mdoka fish also have unique lips that are very close to the shape of human lips.
Finally, David Booth who is a marine ecologist at the University of Technology in Sydney, said that triggerfish do indeed have a very strong set of teeth that can remove a finger in a second, however, their teeth are not human-like, so yes the pictures do look fake! In conclusion: The fish with human lips and teeth is not real and it's always a good idea to check with your friendly ichthyologist if you have any doubts.