Teddy Roosevelt Responsible For Piranha’s Bloodthirsty Reputation

"Like you wouldn't have thought the same thing, you lily-livered scalawag."

“Like you wouldn’t have thought the same thing, you lily-livered scalawag.”

I can’t say that I’d lay all the blame on Roosevelt: Roger Corman has to shoulder his fair share, too. Gruesome story, though.


In 1913, the former president made a much-ballyhooed trip down the Brazilian Amazon. Like anyone hosting a dignitary, the locals wanted to put on a show for Roosevelt. So days before the roughrider arrived, they used nets to block off a section of the Amazon. Then they caught piranhas from other parts of the river and tossed them into their makeshift aquarium, all while keeping the fish unfed. When Roosevelt rolled into town, the locals finally appeased their captives by chucking a live cow into the water. The piranhas wasted no time. As they sank their teeth into the meat, the water foamed up and turned red. In minutes, the cow’s skeleton was all that was left.

via How Teddy Roosevelt Turned Piranhas Into Ferocious Maneaters | Mental Floss.

2 Comments on "Teddy Roosevelt Responsible For Piranha’s Bloodthirsty Reputation"

  1. Number1Framer | Jun 25, 2014 at 12:50 am |

    When I was studying Bio sciences in school before I made the switch to art, we did a ‘demo’ of a piranha in a tank with a goldfish. The goldfish literally bumped into the piranha and it just moved out of the way. Now I see that starving your performers is the key to putting on a good show…

  2. Teddy Roosevelt Responsible For America’s Bloodthirsty Reputation

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