How Many People Die From Eating Puffer Fish? The pufferfish, also known as fugu, is a kind of fish that can inflate like a ball to intimidate its predators. Aside from its evading look, it also takes the second place in terms of being the most poisonous vertebrate on Earth. But despite being infamous because of its death-causing poison, its flesh is still opted by people in various parts of the world.
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How many people die from eating pufferfish? In Japan, half of the total number of deaths caused by food poisoning is a result of eating fugu or Puffer Fish. Deaths also happen in many countries around the world because of the same reason.
If you are among those who are wondering why such individuals are risking their lives for just one meal, here’s a short read for you. Let’s get into it.
Why People Eat Puffer Fish?
During winter, people, especially in Japan, loves to capture fugu or pufferfish. This fish has an unusual appearance, a smooth skin that is said to look so delicious for some people. And when it comes to taste, pufferfish has an elegantly, sweet taste. It is also chewy that makes it enjoyable when cutting in small chunks.
For some people, they serve it fresh. They also say that the fish doesn’t taste like fish at all. It has a similar taste to chicken or frog leg. So, imagine how tasty that was that people risk their lives to have one delicious pufferfish meal.
The Deadly Consequence Of Eating Puffer Fish
Pufferfish is a good food source that contains a poison that is 1,000 times stronger than cyanide. It is believed that they accumulate neurotoxin by synthesizing the deadly toxins they acquired from the bacteria of the living creatures they consume.
The smooth, delicious-looking skin of this fish is poisonous, including its liver, and all its reproductive organs. A single pufferfish contains enough tetrodotoxin that can kill about thirty people. This toxic substance attacks the nervous system. To put it, it interferes with the communication of nerves and muscles.
Here are the symptoms of food poisoning due to puffer fish:
During the first stage, there is a prickling sensation in the tongue and lips, followed by paralysis and numbness in the face. Afterward, the deadly toxin will move to your extremities then goes further in your system. Upon reaching the muscles in your respiratory system, it will be difficult then impossible for you to breathe. The person affected by pufferfish poison may die from 20 minutes to 24 hours after exposure to the toxin.
Conclusion In conclusion, pufferfish is still a popular delicacy in some places around the world. While being infamous due to the multiple deaths it has caused, people still love pufferfish or fugu. It is essential to learn the dangers of eating this particular fish species because its strong poison is something that people should be aware of. Up to this date, there is still no antidote for pufferfish poison.