the fish that got away


Back to our old friends Gould and Pyle to see what they have to say about the dangers of fishing and drinking water

Stewart described the case of a native “Puckally” of Ceylon who was the victim of the most distressing symptoms from the impaction of a living fish in his throat. The native had caught the fish, and in order to extract it placed its head between his teeth, holding the body with the left hand and the hook with the right. He had hardly extracted the hook, when the fish pricked his palm with his long and sharp dorsal fin, causing him suddenly to release his grasp on the fish and voluntarily open his mouth at the same time.


The fish quickly bolted into his mouth, and, although he grasped the tail with his right hand, and squeezed his pharynx with his left, besides coughing violently, the fish found its way into the esophagus. Further attempts at extraction were dangerous and quite likely to fail; his symptoms were distressing, he could not hold his head erect without the most agonizing pain and he was almost prostrated from fright and asphyxia; it was thought advisable to push the fish into the stomach, and after an impaction of sixteen hours the symptoms were relieved.

chinese health poster

Granger, a surgeon in Her Majesty’s Indian Service, writes:–“Several days ago I received a note asking me if I would see a man who had a leech in his throat which he was unable to get rid of.

On account of the symptoms complained of by the patient I introduced a forceps into the lower part of the pharynx and toward the esophagus, where a body, distinctly moving, was felt. This body I seized with the forceps, and with considerable force managed to remove it. It was a leech between 2 1/2 and three inches in length, and with a body of the size of a Lee-Metford bullet. No doubt during the eleven days it had remained in the man’s throat the leech had increased in size.


Nevertheless it must have been an animal of considerable size when the man attempted to swallow it. I send this case as a typical example of the carelessness of natives of the class from which we enlist our Sepoys


and yes I have posted about fish getting caught in other orifices before

Published in: on October 15, 2009 at 7:49 am  Comments (40)  
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40 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Eeeek! You finally have managed to gross me out! A leech! Oh Jesus! A big fat well fed one! Eew! In his throat! For eleven days! For once I’m glad there’s no picture!

  2. LOL too funny. though i’m not sure why… a leech is very close to a worm for me, and i am beset with hysteria at the thought of worms in my body.

    • Oh no! Worms!

  3. ‘his symptoms were distressing,’

    What the fish caught in his throat was freaking him out somehow?

    And how is that a symptom? Unless its of stupidity.

  4. This is why I hate fishing.

  5. Urgh, that is worse than the leech that latched onto a woman’s eyeball while she was gardening.

    • Eeeek…. did you blog that?

  6. I know xray techs who speak of people coming into the ER to have extractions done (light bulbs, bottles, small rodents.)

  7. do you know what’s worse than pulling a leech from your throat? pulling half a leech from your throat…. yeaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

  8. Okay, now my stomach is churning for the day….

  9. Another breakfastus interruptus post.

  10. Yet another breakfastus interruptus post.

  11. Like the young man in the second photo, whenever I go penis fishing, I like to maintain a look of calm self-confidence even when a tangle threatens. But let us close with the time-honored tale of the monk and the small-handed boy who forever after could only drink from cups.

    Yank Kidouttadeer

    • Strange you should mention that monk. There’s a gimcrack story coming up shortly……

  12. I’m always having that problem with leeches stuck in my throat. I hate when that happens.

  13. this is why i don’t fish without a beer bottle firmly emplaced in my mouth throughout (pausing only to replace the empties)

  14. I would never hold a live fish in my mouth for whatever reason there might be. I would also rather have a leech in my throat than those fish in the amazon that swim up your tackle, if you happen to take a pee while in the water and lodge themselves in your pipes with barbed spikes!!

  15. Leeches? I’m speechless. That’s just not kosher.

  16. This reminds me of when I would pray that I’d get a tapeworm during Christmas so I could eat whatever I wanted and still fit into my denim stirrup pants…

  17. I can’t imagine having a fish caught in my throat. I think I’d decapitate myself trying to get it out!

    I found a site that I think you will love! You’ll be hooked by the first two pages, me thinks….

  18. EEEeeew – I thought I had a strong stomach but all of that made me wince

    • oh sorry Lulu, I know you’re relatively new here and i don’t want to alienate you just yet. Never mind, it’s just about Corset Friday time…..

  19. Ok, my mouth is remaining firmly closed anywhere near a fish (or a leech).

  20. No one’s going to make a Deep Throat joke? This fish thing would never have happened to Linda Lovelace.

  21. Ye gods. I’m with alljoedirt: never a live fish in my mouth for any reason. My luck would be that I didn’t quite get the hook out before it poked me and then I’d have both a hook in my face and a fish in my throat to deal with.

  22. Ok, now I’ve calmed down, what is that lovely looking instrument in the first pic? It’s reminding of again of Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers.

    • It’s an arrow remover Miss Spinach 🙂

  23. Yep should of gone to medical school I tell you!

    • You’d make a great cadaver.

  24. it just goes to teach you to be careful of what you put in your mouth. or your other orifaces.

    the best way to break his finger is to punch him in the nose.

  25. alljoedirt stole my thunder about the candiru. It’s almost certainly a myth, but I wouldn’t risk peeing into the Amazon just in case…

    (Did Malach just say ‘should of’?)

  26. Oops. Sorry about the bold – forgot to close the html… (you need Preview!)

    • I need a lot of things Anaglyph…..

  27. I am NOT clicking on any one else’s links on this post.

    3 inch leech.


    Thank goodness The King is handy with his spetum around the moat.

    • I’ve heard King Willy has a very nice pole

      • I’ve heard Joey IS a very nice Pole.

  28. NM: tsk
    REV: tsk

    • As Anaglyph well knows, I go weak at the knees when someone Tsk Tsks me 🙂

  29. Well hopefully this does not happen while cleaning out my fish tanks.

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