Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wels Catfish. The Catfish that can swallow a grown man whole.

13 foot wels catfish caught in the 50's in Ussr.

A lot of people don't know just how big wels catfish can get. An some people don't believe in monster man-eating wels, and dismiss them as "wives tales". An try to give you a false impression of the wels catfish with there lack of knowledge. But the fact is Wels catfish can get well over 600 lbs if left alone. The Wels catfish actually grows larger than any catfish in the world, including the Mekong Giant Catfish. In the 1970's and 80's versions of Animal facts and feats. They show a 13 foot wels catfish that weighed 560 lbs caught in the Ussr. You can find that catfish photo on google images. Or go to your local library, and read the book "animal facts and feats". You'll see the photo of the 13 foot wels catfish in it. A Notorious man-eater. This was the largest wels catfish on record, until a 16 foot wels catfish was caught in the Dnieper River in Ukraine. People don't realize it, but there are photos of the this 16 foot wels catfish. It looks like a whale from the head, I remember seeing it. Infact it was shown on television back in 2002. The weights you find about wels catfish online are grossly under estimated beyond conservative. There is one catfish species that grow large enough to gobble up, and swallow a grown man whole. That is the Wels catfish. A notorious man eater throughout Europe. For some reason people want to keep making up there own low estimates about wels catfish. They are far from informed. They think that in the modern world, it has to be scientifically verified by a scientist. An are completely obtuse on the issue. In the 1970's a scientists released wels catfish babys in the River "Ebro" in Spain. Today those catfish are getting over 300 lbs, 15 more years, those wels catfish will be large enough to swallow a man. Wels catfish if left alone to grow, are all capable of exceeding 10 feet in length. The wels catfish is a notorious man-eater through Europe. From Poland from Hungary people in remote places won't even go in the lakes or rivers, because of wels catfish the size of pick up trucks. Many disappearances in Europe are blamed on wels catfish. Wels catfish can grow to monstrous sizes that people reading this article couldn't imagine. It's disappointing reading a lot of misinformed webpages, talking about "tale tales", and "Misindentifcations". There is no tall tale to it. Wels catfish are the largest of catfish, and grow to the sizes, where you'd never get into a lake again if you saw one. Since Medieval times wels catfish have been taking on humans. This is not tall tales, that would be loch ness monster. Some People don't want to realize that large Goonch Catfish, Large Piraiba, and Large Wels catfish are all capable of devouring a human. An try to get you a very low conservative weight about the fish. Not wanting to believe the reality of Fresh water catfish devouring humans. Like Alligators, and Crocodiles there more than capable. Here are some documented reports of wels catfish as man eaters. A child was eaten by a wels catfish in Pressburg Hungary in 1613, a 7 year old was found in a wels catfish Stomache in 1754, in 1793 two 16 year old girls in turkey were devoured by a wels catfish, a body of a woman was found in a wels catfish in Turkey in the 18th century, a hand of a grown woman was also found in a wels catfish and a grown man in the Ukraine in 1804. Many people reported missing in Rural parts of Europe are believed to be eaten alive by large wels catfish. Dieing in the most horrible of ways. Go to Rural Parts of Europe in Turkey, Poland, Ussr, Ukraine. An in large bodys of water in Europe. There you will find catfish the size big enough to swallow you. Don't be fooled by false conservative weights, by those who demand a scientist be on the scene to verify it. Wels catfish are the greatest of the catfish, and the only catfish that is capable of swallowing a grown man whole!


  1. Can you share the sources for all the facts; dates etc above please?

  2. Sorry, but nearly everything you wrote about the wels in this post is sadly not true. The wels catfish is one of the biggest "victims" of big-fish-stories. There is no doubt that this species grows very large, but as in all big animal, there are over-estimated and of course highly over-exaggerated sizes. I really don´t understand your problem with the need of confirmed sizes. There is no doubt that a whole lot of people over-estimate and exaggerate sizes, in ancient times and in modern times as well. A lot of animals "mysteriously" shrunk when they were properly measured. You can sadly find a lot of sources which say that Silurus glanis can grow this sizes of more than 4 or even 5 m. I´ve been researching this particular topic since nearly a decade, and you can really believe me that I looked a lot for information, growth dates, proportions and all that stuff. At the end, it was clear without a doubt that Silurus glanis don´t grow as big as you claim. Actually there is even today not one single specimen which had a confirmed length which even reached 3 m. The very largest ones from all over the world, specimens from parts of Italy, Spain, Greece and Russia were between 2,70 and 2,80 m. This were only some few specimens, which were much much bigger than everything else. They are on the very top of the size "pyramide", so it´s extremely unprobable there are any specimens whicha are or were much bigger. Don´t you find it strange that among all confirmed specimens there is none which comes only slightly close to the alleged sizes? If this species could really grow to well over 4 m, why is there not a single confirmed specimen over 3 m?

  3. There are some few cases of giants, like the one you mentioned. But given the fact there are so many exaggarations and over-estimations in big animals, no matter if you look at bony fish, crocodiles, snakes or sharks, there is no need to believe this dates are actually true, especially if they come all from quite obscure sources. One big problem with those alleged giants is that their lengths and weights are completely out of proportion, what´s a quite typical phenomen in made up stories with exaggerated sizes, because most people don´t realize that weight grows with the cube. For this reason, the weights for exaggerated animals are nearly always too low. I made really a lot of calculations with lengths and weights of wels catfish with confirmed dates, to get an idea how their lengths and weights are coupled with proportions. I looked at very obese specimens and very slim specimens as well, to get an overview of the extremes. But in general the largest wels are quite bulky, as they mainly gain additional weight and not length when they are older. A hypothetical 15 feet long wels would weigh at least around 700 kg, probably even much more. That´s nearly five times as much as the biggest confirmed specimens actually weighed. This shows also that it´s just impossible that they can grow that big. Weights of more than 100 kg are exceptional, even in areas where they have perfect growth conditions, like in some areas of South Europe, from where nearly all of the largest specimens come from. The even heavier specimens become the more rare the heavier they are. There´s only a handful of specimens with a weight of around 150 kg. One of the very largest one was caught some years ago at Italy, which weighed 144 kg at 2,78 m. Even this monster was FAR away from all the old big-fish-stories, and it´s not very probable that it would have grown much bigger in its life. One big problem is that many authors just copy old data again and again for decades and even centuries, without any criticism or research. For example, I read quite often about lengths of 3 m and weights of 200 kg. This proportions are too heavy, even for a very fat wels. But they come from a very popular german book about wildlife from the middle of the 19th century, and were a source for many later authors.
    But, what´s with this photo, which shows obviously a giant fish? Well, the problem is, that the fish on the photo is no wels at all. Many people (including the guy who wrote the book of animal facts and feats) were fooled by the wide mouth of the fish, and lead them, to the conclusion it was a wels. But please take a very close look to the photo. Has it´s body diametre a typical shape for a wels? No. Is its mouth as wide as the head? No. Are there any signs of whiskers? No. Are there eyes visible? No. This fish was no wels at all, but something very different. I can´t say for sure what it was, but it was either a beluga sturgeon (Huso huso), of a kaluga sturgeon (Huso dauricus). Both of this fish reach extreme lengths, in excess even more than 4,5 m. Furthermore, this aren´t bottom-feeders which feed mainly on invertebrates, but highly predatory fish-eaters, which hunt in the open water. For this reason their mouths are very large and wide, and not on the downside of their snouts (at least no more in older specimens), and looks in this position also not much like the typical sucker mouth of a sturgeon. I think it´s more probable the fish on the photo is a kaluga, as the heads of this species are even more compact and their mouths even wider than those of belugas. If you take a close look at the photo, you can see the snout of the sturgeon and even the four short whiskers below. As the photo quality is not very good, and the fish photographed in frontal view, it´s very hard to see.
    If you don´t believe me, please take a look at this photos of kalugas, and if you want, again a look at wels:

  4. It´s also just not true, that the wels is a known maneater. Actually, there are only some few old tales of alleged cases in which humans were eaten, and they are all very old, so there is no reason to think they were real without doubt. The wels is a large growing and strange looking fish with a big mouth, so it´s not surprising there are some stories of alleged cases in which humans were consumed. But there are many reasons to doubt this. There are some few cases known in which humans were attacked by wels. However, this were mainly cases in which males defended their spawn. There are also (even more) cases of pikes which did bite humans, but that doesn´t mean they had a chance to consume them. The wels is a large fish and has a very wide mouth, however most of its prey consits of comparably small animals, in contrast to pikes for example, which can eat fish more than half of their own length. But wels can´t do this, as their actual abdominal cavity is quite short, and extends only to their ventral fins. I have even two small baby wels in a tank, and I can watch this very well. Their stomaches have a high capacity for smaller objects, and if they have for example eaten a lot of earthworms, their bellies can be quite swollen, but only in the belly area, as everything befind is only tail. So, it´s quite hard for a wels to eat something which is longer than a quarter of its own length, unless it´s quite flexible as earthworms are (in contrast to humans). And even given the fact that the wels has a wide mouth, it would still not be able to eat a human, and at least a man. There are cases known in which wels attacked floating sockerballs (probably because they thought it was waterfowl) and suffocated. This wels were 2 m in length, and the balls not even real socker balls, but smaller versions from rubber. So if a 2 m wels is not able to swallow of around 30 cm diametre, there is no chance even a 3 m specimen could eat a human. I have seen a giant taxidermy specimen of 2,47 m, and even this one would have had no chance to swallow a child (and with an abdominal length of around 75 cm head included anyway no chance to eat it). Only a real monster of around 2,7 m or more could possibly eat a very small child of a year. You can see this very well on this photo. Just imagine how big a wels had to be, to have a whole man in this small abdomen: