‘Demon Fish’ Found in Florida Ignites Social Media Debate

by Taylor Cunningham
Andrew Marriott

A horrifying “demon fish” is causing quite a stir on social media after it washed up dead on a beach in Florida.

Tammy Jenkins found the sharp-toothed gilled monster along the shores of the Ocklawaha River in Putnam County while she was kayaking last week. Florida Photography posted some snapshots of the creature on Facebook, and they quickly went viral.

The unidentified fish looks like a prehistoric predator or something that swam out of the pits of hell. Its eyes are deep and hollow, and it has wide pronounced lips that showcase multiple sets of decaying, pointy teeth. It also has strange leathery-black skin and an elongated face.

“You need to show these pictures to the DNR,” a follower wrote under the pictures.

“Anything with that much teeth I don’t think I’d classify as a fish,” wrote another person.

Several people don’t think the creature is real. Because Halloween was only two weeks ago, they assume it was a decoration that made its way to the water. And Jenkins actually thought the same—until she saw the flies and caught a whiff of the decaying flesh.

“It got my attention because it was ugly as dirt and looked like it came straight from hell,” she told McClatchy News. “At first glance, I thought it was a joke toy until I smelled it.”

“I decided to share (the photos) on Facebook to get others’ input. I take thousands of photos when we go out but I hardly ever share them,” she added.

Facebook Followers Believe the Terrifying Fish is an ‘Aquatic Chupacabra’

The post has since earned thousands of reactions. Some are hilarious, others are helpful, and a few are still skeptical.

“looks like my mother-in-law… same smile, ” a commenter joked.

Several anglers believe they know the monster’s species, but there isn’t one general consensus on the answer. The two most popular guesses are snakehead and bowfin.

Snakeheads are an invasive species that came from Asia, and bowfins, also known as mudfish, are common in Florida.

Other popular guesses include “mutated piranha,” “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” and “Aquatic Chupacabra.”

“And this is why I swim in nothing but a pool….” someone added.

Jenkins admitted that she’s been enjoying all of the comments, and admits that it probably is a bowfin or snakehead. So posting the photos helped her learn something new.

“I always thought it was a gator gar,” she admitted. “But now I’m not so sure.”