Jeremy Wade journeys to the heart of Brazil, following reports in which a bus crashes into the Amazon river, and all the passengers are eaten by a pack of red-bellied piranhas. He investigates this and other stories in order to determine if the piranha really deserve its reputation and what exactly triggers a feeding frenzy. During his trip to remote regions of the Amazon river basin, he finds out that the bloodthirsty piranha is just as predator as prey. Finally he hears a chilling story about a child fallen into the river and after a few seconds, only the skeleton were found. He finally uncovers the truth that piranhas really can be dangerous to humans, but usually in the dry season when other food is scarce.
River Monsters - Piranha (Part 1)
A Piranha is a member of family Characidae in order Characiformes, an omnivorous freshwater fish that inhabits South American rivers. In Venezuela, they are called caribes. They are known for their sharp teeth and powerful jaws.
Various stories exist about piranhas, such as how they can dilacerate a human body or cattle in seconds. These legends refer specifically to the red-bellied piranha. A common falsehood is that they can be attracted by blood and are exclusively carnivores. A Brazilian legend called "piranha cattle" states that they sweep the rivers at high speed and attack the first of the cattle entering the water, allowing the rest of the group to traverse the river. These legends were dismissed through research by Helder Queiroz and Anne Magurran and published in Biology Letters. Nevertheless, a study in Suriname found that piranhas may occasionally attack humans, particularly when water levels are low.
Piranha was made into many hollywood films.
When American President Theodore Roosevelt visited Brazil in 1913, he went on a hunting expedition through the Amazon Rainforest. While standing on the bank of the Amazon River, he witnessed a spectacle created by local fishermen. After blocking off part of the river and starving the piranhas for several days, they pushed a cow into the water, where it was skeletonized and quickly torn apart by a school of hungry piranhas.
Roosevelt would later present the piranhas as vicious creatures in his 1914 book Through the Brazilian Wilderness.