While fishermen are notorious for telling tall tales about the sizes of their catches without supporting evidence, the photos for this story are accessible … and horrifying.
It all began on May 22 when a spearfisher in Thailand, in the Phatthalung province in the far south of the country, was hunting and came up for air.
As he surfaced, another creature did, too.
A 5-inch-long fish known as an Anabas leaped into the air — and directly into the man’s throat.
The Anabas fish’s dorsal fin is spiky, making the ordeal that much more painful.
While the fisherman certainly wasn’t expecting the fish to leap into his mouth, the fish didn’t seem too happy about the situation either, and it tried to wiggle out, but took a wrong turn.
Instead of exiting the way it entered, the fish lodged itself in the man’s throat at his nasal cavity, making a peaceful resolution impossible for both man and fish and cutting off the fisherman’s airway.
Thankfully, good Samaritans nearby spotted the poor fisherman and got him to the hospital.
The medical team quickly discovered that the fish was well and truly stuck, and after a one-hour operation they were able to extract the ill-fated fish and save the fisherman.
An X-ray from the man’s treatment clearly shows the fish wedged in the impossible spot at the entrance to the man’s nasal cavity.
— ASEAN NOW Thailand, formerly Thaivisa.com (@ASEANNOWTH) June 1, 2020
Sermsri Pathompanichrat, an official at the hospital that treated the unnamed man, said this case was the first of its kind for them.
“The chances of this happening are very low,” Pathompanichrat told Viral Press, as reported by the New York Post. “I have never seen this kind of case before. Our doctors worked hard to minimize the damage on our patient’s organs. They have successfully saved the patient.”
The fish that jumped into the fisherman’s throat….Phatthalung, Thailand ? https://t.co/STv4BpQB2f
— Prem Mohanty (@philipbkk) June 2, 2022
While this case was unprecedented and probably very unlikely to be repeated, there’s no doubt this particular fisherman will have second thoughts before hitting the water again anytime soon.
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