Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem for T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!


The Epic History of the Humble Goldfish

Everyone has either owned a goldfish, used goldfish as bait, or admired goldfish in aquariums and ponds. They're everywhere, but how did they get there? Professor Anna Marie Roos of the University of Lincoln wrote the book Goldfish that answers that question and more. Roos sat down with National Geographic to talk about goldfish.

Where do goldfish fit into the animal kingdom?

Goldfish are basically carp. The Chinese originally bred them to eat. Carp, which are normally grey or green, breed like crazy, and you get variations of colors and shapes. Nature plays around. They have a smattering of pigment cells that are red or gold. A mutation would have suppressed the grey pigment cells, allowing the yellow and red ones to be expressed. Humans took a mutation and made a species of them.

In China, the golden fish takes on religious overtones.

In about the ninth century, goldfish mutants, when captured by fishermen, were not eaten and [instead] released into Buddhist ponds of mercy in an act of fang sheng, or mercy release. The monks fed and kept them, so the fish were protected by not being in the open waters. Releasing an animal into such a pond of mercy was an act of self-purification, a good deed in the Buddhist religion, which becomes even better if the animal is rare, like a goldfish versus a common carp.

You can see how they survived and reproduced with their gold color intact. Roos talks about goldfish as pets, as experimental subjects, as giveaways, and as invasive species, at NatGeo. -via Damn Interesting

(Image credit: Daiju Azuma)

Start New Comment Thread...

Commenting on Neatorama will earn you NeatoPoints!

Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

This reply comment will earn you 100 100 NeatoPoints !


Email This Post to a Friend
"The Epic History of the Humble Goldfish"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More