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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352 Comments
  • sugarwolff
    sugarwolffMonday, January 18, 2021 at 10:39 am
    O-o that’s coo, but also kinda weird (in a good way)
    • fefercikw
      fefercikwSunday, January 17, 2021 at 11:44 am
      Cool
      • acidicsmoothies
        acidicsmoothiesFriday, January 15, 2021 at 7:36 pm
        Ranchu sounds like a pikachu evolution lol but cool fish super big but also bad for the enviornment if there are a bunch of gold fish released in a normal environment sadly
        • uniccos-1599616
          uniccos-1599616Friday, January 15, 2021 at 1:16 pm
          huge!
          • myunicornuni
            myunicornuniFriday, January 15, 2021 at 7:10 am
            WOW! I think a cat would be scared of that big fish, lol!
            • viseticu-159780367242
              viseticu-159780367242Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 1:42 pm
              wow
              • braideniscool21
                braideniscool21Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 5:24 am
                WHOA Thats BIG!!!
                • savegecheld
                  savegecheldWednesday, January 13, 2021 at 5:25 pm
                  wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow just imagine that as your pet
                  • savegecheld
                    savegecheldWednesday, January 13, 2021 at 5:10 pm
                    THIS IS SO BIG i was like are you sure that's not a salmon but then i showed my mom and she was like it's a HUGE goldfish
                    • sue1234
                      sue1234Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 4:34 pm
                      It is so big