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Vampire Fish
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📸 by @monster_fish_taxidermy

If you don’t know what a sea lamprey is, just picture a 3 ft (1m) long blood-sucking leech as thick as a man’s arm.

Lamprey are among the most primitive of all vertebrate species, these parasitic fish are often miscategorized and eels due to their similar body shape.

Their funnel-like mouth is full of spikey teeth and designed for one purpose: to bore into the flesh of fish and feed on their most vital fluid.

It especially frightening to imagine being the lamprey’s victim and not having the means to fight back – so instead you wait until your attacker drinks its fill and releases you.

Luckily for us humans, lampreys prefer cold-blooded animals, so we’re naturally off menu – although there is one story of a long distance swimmer being attacked by a large sea lamprey in open water.

If that is in fact a true story, then you might need to add the sea lamprey to the list of things to watch out for the next time you’re out swimming.