In a story that we bizarrely didn’t cover last week, you might have heard that a woman from Nottingham named Zoe Butler opened a can of Prince’s tuna she had bought from Asda only to see some weird creature inside it staring back at her. She was obviously pretty terrified and reported it to the local press, but not before taking a few pictures of it.
Prince’s then took it off her for testing to find out what it was, but they haven’t reported back on their findings yet. However, after the story broke nationwide, some experts from the Natural History Museum reckon that it’s a tongue-eating parasite called Cymothoa Exigua.
The parasite basically swims inside a fish’s mouth, eats its tongue and then simply replaces its tongue. The fish then uses the parasite as its tongue and apparently doesn’t really know the difference. That’s it. Completely weird right!? Here’s what Stuart Hine from the NHM had to say:
From what I can see I would support the head of a Tongue-eating louse, Cymothoa exigua, or similar.
I think these are associates of smaller fish than Tuna and fish that tuna eat.
We could undoubtedly say more if presented with the specimen.
Ugh. I know it probably wouldn’t have eaten the woman’s tongue if it went in her mouth (at least I don’t think it would?) but it’s still gross that it almost went in there. Or even worse the mouths of her kids. I know Prince’s must make thousands (millions?) of cans a tuna a day, but you would think they would have some kind of safety protocol in place to ensure that little critters like that don’t get through. It’s so freaking gross.
If you want to see a picture of Cymothoa Exigua in action click through to the next slide but be warned you can never unsee this and it is right up there with some of the rankest stuff I have ever seen. Although probably not as rank as the guy who got a chicken brain in his KFC.