In A Nutshell
Truly enormous catfish stalk rivers worldwide, may feed on human bodies, and are also suspected of drowning live victims. In South America, a piraiba swallowed a fisherman and was found with the legs still sticking out, while goonch catfish accustomed to feeding on funeral corpses are accused of dragging two boys to their deaths. In Europe, suspicion rests on the potentially enormous wels catfish, with a human body found inside one individual.
The Whole Bushel
In the Kali River of India, a number of human bodies are disposed of during funeral proceedings. As a result, it is believed that the giant goonch Catfish, which can weigh over 200 kilograms and measure nearly 2.5 meters (8.2 ft) in length may have developed a taste for human flesh.
In July 1998, a boy was mysteriously pulled underwater in sight of his father. No body was found, sparking investigation by extreme angler Jeremy Wade (of television’s River Monsters), who considered goonch attacks to be a strong possibility.
In Europe, the wels catfish may grow up to over three meters (10 ft) in length, and historical accounts suggest lengths of over five meters (16 ft). In one case, a body was found inside a Russian individual. Some dispute exists over whether the victim was swallowed while alive or after drowning.
A disturbing case involving local police and Animal Planet’s expert angler Jeremy Wade saw a disturbing case involving an enormous piraiba. This Amazon catfish is capable of growing to up three meters in length. A fisherman with two partners dove to repair a net but did not come back. He was later found with only his legs emerging from the mouth of a large piraiba.