Massive Nine-Pound Goldfish Found In South Carolina Lake

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Goldfish are one of the most popular household pets in the USA (Credit: Souravgg8/ CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons)

Mention goldfish, and the image that comes to mind is that of small, colorful creatures swimming in circles in fish bowls or home aquariums. However, the one recently discovered by biologists conducting a fish survey at a South Carolina lake was no ordinary goldfish - it was a 9-pound, 15-inch-long behemoth!

The massive marine animal was discovered in the 12-acre Oak Grove Lake in Greenville, SC, on November 16, 2020. It came to light accidentally when the researchers were testing the aquatic ecosystem's health through electrofishing. Commonly used in scientific surveys, the harmless technique gently shocks fish and forces them to rise to the water's surface, allowing surveyors to determine the abundance, density, and species composition. "All of a sudden, this giant fish jumped out and into the net, and we quickly snapped a photo while examining it," Ty Houck, director of Greenways, Natural and Historic Resources for the Greenville County Recreation District, told CNN.

The massive goldfish was discovered in the Oak Grove Lake in Greenville, SC (Credit:

The experts, who released the goldfish back into the water soon after, are unsure how it got there or how long it has been living in the lake. "We think someone must have just dropped their fish in the lake because they didn't want it anymore, instead of flushing it down the toilet," Houck said. He attributes the fish's size to its large home and the abundance of food. "Goldfish grow to the size of their environment," Houck said. "To have a 9-pound goldfish survive in our lake must mean we are doing something right."

The ginormous goldfish, which has become an internet celebrity since the image was posted on Greenville Recreation Center's Facebook page on December 7, 2020, is certainly impressive. However, it is no record-breaker. According to the International Game Fish Association, the world's heaviest goldfish is a 9-lb, 6-oz (4.26 kg) specimen found by Mathew Servant in 2002. The Guinness World Record for the longest is held by an 18.7-inch goldfish found in the Netherlands by Joris Gijsbers in March 2003.

Resources: CNN.com, USAtoday.com. Igfa.org/guinnessworldrecords.com

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424 Comments
  • phoenix_xfx
    phoenix_xfxFriday, May 14, 2021 at 8:42 am
    big brain fish
    • cjcat
      cjcatThursday, May 13, 2021 at 5:32 am
      now i want a big goldfish lol
      • jetebisa-159578309541
        jetebisa-159578309541Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 2:50 pm
        yikes
        • m1kan_tsumik1
          m1kan_tsumik1Friday, May 7, 2021 at 7:42 am
          They probably ate it after.
          • foxy99
            foxy99Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 10:10 am
            yummy
          • gamergirlahna12
            gamergirlahna12Friday, April 30, 2021 at 10:19 am
            aw the poor thing
            • sydnedy
              sydnedyTuesday, April 27, 2021 at 5:38 am
              I have panda fish
              • bluecat
                bluecatFriday, April 23, 2021 at 10:02 am
                I have 5 pet fish one is a goldfish
                • blogman769
                  blogman769Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 2:07 pm
                  they should have it in a aquarium!it would be a main atrraction!
                  • nightwaves
                    nightwavesFriday, April 16, 2021 at 6:54 am
                    That is a HUGE Goldfish!!!
                    • mh249006
                      mh249006Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 6:45 am
                      That is the biggest thing I have ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!