The Secret World of Fish Stomachs

Idaho's Spokesman-Review reports that a Priest Lake angler caught a lake trout. Upon processing the catch, inside the fish there was found a single finger lost some seven weeks earlier by a wakeboarder. In spite of the time passed between loss of the digit and its somewhat unorthodox recovery, local authorities were able to match a fingerprint and contact the finger's owner. The latter declined to have the finger returned to him. While the finger is undoubtedly an unexpected find, anglers have found stranger objects inside the stomachs of fish.

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Historic Account of Odd Stomach Contents

The Dickens Journal Online reports on a grouper pulled from the Yarra River in Australia. This fish, which is a member of a species famous for generating a strong suction that pulls prey into their mouths, reportedly contained "two broken bottles, a quart pot, a preserved milk-tin, seven medium-sized crabs, a piece of earthenware triangular in shape, and three inches in length, encrusted with oyster-shells; a sheep's head, some mutton and beef bones, and some loose oyster-shells," in its stomach. The story dates back to 1866.

Regurgitating Shark Helps Solve a Murder

Far more sinister is the case of another fish, a shark, caught off Australia's Coogee Beach in 1935. Sports Illustrated Vault recounts the lurid tale of a gigantic fish entangled in a fishing line. Taken to the local aquarium, the fish spent seven days eating the food it was given until it suddenly regurgitated. In addition to the recently consumed mackerel, keepers found a human arm with a rather distinctive tattoo. The story ends here for the shark, which was killed. While there were no further human remains in the fish's stomach, the tattoo soon led to the identification of the victim. Before long, the police determined that murder had taken place.

Prophetic Implications of Hungry Fish

In the Christian Bible, the book of Jonah retells the story of the prophet's rebellion and his subsequent three-day sojourn inside a giant fish's stomach. He was eventually regurgitated and went on his mission. Jesus Christ later on used the story of Jonah as a metaphor to foretell his own resurrection after the crucifixion. A bit closer to home, the Berthoud Recorder recounts a Cree Indian prophecy that foretells the end of time when "mankind as we would know it would all but cease to exist." Part of the prophecy is the poisoning of fish in the streams. Only a return to a harmonious living with nature could save humankind from certain doom.

The Mayan December 21st prophecy is silent on anything having to do with fish. Then again, considering that the fish poisonings have occurred already, perhaps this is a bad sign for those anticipating the end of the world.