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Siamese Pike Photograph

Outline
Message that includes a photograph of what appears to be a Siamese pike suggests that the freak fish is a result of chemicals in the water. A new, social media driven, version claims that the "creepy" fish was caught in Pigeon Lake, Alberta.



Brief Analysis
Versions of this "Siamese Pike" photograph have been circulating since at least 2001. Many different locations across North America have been specified in various versions of the message. None have been confirmed. While many commentators believe that the photograph depicts a genuine conjoined twin fish, many others suggest that the image shows a smaller pike with its head thrust through the gill of the larger pike. Alas, more than a decade on, whether the image shows one fish or two is likely to remain one of life's little mysteries. Unless the angler responsible finally comes forward with compelling evidence either way.

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Example (Submitted, March 2008)
Subject: FW: Siamese Pike Caught in North Bay

Siamese Pike Caught in North Bay

WELL I WOULD WONDER WHAT KIND OF CHEMICALS LIE IN LAKE NIPPISSING TO CREATE SUCH A FREAK OF NATURE.....DONT THINK I WOULD WANT TO EAT THAT OR WALLEYE'S FROM LAKE NIPISSING . NOW.......WHO KNOWS MAYBE THE LOCALS HAVE BEEN PUMPING SOMETHING INTO THE LAKE TO INCREASE THEIR THREE FISH LIMIT'S.......ENJOY HAVE A LOOK AT THIS!!!

Siamese Pike Caught in North Bay
Maybe we should send this to the Americans!
It might be good advertising.....
2 fish for the price of one crazy looking!
Does that count as one or two fish???
You be the judge!
This is unbelievable! This is actually true.
The weird thing is how it survived all these years!

Proof there's something in the water!

 Siamese Pike



Detailed Analysis


Versions of this "Siamese Pike" photograph have been circulating since at least 2001. This variant of the email claims that the freak fish was caught in Lake Nippissing near North Bay in Ontario, Canada. Other variants relocate the catch to North Dakota, Utah, and other American states. After a lull of some years, the image suddenly surfaced on various social media websites in mid 2013. The 2013 version suggests that the fish was caught in Pigeon Lake, Alberta.

The photograph has generated a great deal of lively online debate. Many believe that the photograph depicts a genuine conjoined twin fish. Many others believe that the image shows a smaller pike with its head thrust through the gill of the larger pike. It is difficult to draw a reliable conclusion based on this one photograph alone.

Conjoined twin fish are occasionally born, either naturally, or due to scientific manipulation although they are more likely to die before reaching maturity. A mature conjoined fish is not impossible, however, and the image may indeed depict a genuine example. On the other hand, it is also quite possible that the photograph simply shows two fish in an unusual position. Many commentators theorize that the smaller fish has made its way along the stringer line and somehow wedged its head inside the mouth of the larger fish by way of the gill plate. Others suggest that the head of the smaller fish has been deliberately forced through the gill plate in order to create a fake Siamese twin ready for photographing.

Some references claim that the fish was caught in 2001 by angler Donald Tayer on the Ottertail (Otter Tail) River near Wahpeton, North Dakota and was supposedly authenticated by the ND Game and Fish Department. I contacted the ND Game and Fish Department to ask if the authentication claim was true. However, a representative from the Fisheries Division replied to say that, to the best of her knowledge, no one from the ND Game and Fish Department ever verified the catch. It also should be noted that, although Wahpeton North Dakota is located fairly close to the Otter Tail, the river actually runs through the neighbouring state of Minnesota.

This version of the message blames chemical pollution of waterways for the "freak of nature". However, even if the fish is a genuine conjoined twin, it is not necessarily chemical contamination that caused the condition. Without further evidence, such claims are mere conjecture.

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Last updated: July 18, 2013
First published: April 3rd, 2008
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Two Headed Pike, not a fake
Siamese Pike Myth *BUSTED*
Incidence of conjoined twins in tilapia after thermal shock induction of polyploidy
The Game Warden's Dilemma
Freaks of Nature