Content Highlight – Fugu/Blowfish (Tetraodon/Arothron)

If you like Japanese food, be careful when you try fugu. Some organs of this fish are very poisonous. The chef, who wants to prepare the fugu, must go through a three-year training to recieve a special license.

Blowfish are a medium-sized fish (up to 60 cm) with a beak-like mouth. They have a rounded body without scales, or with tiny spikes, and no ventral fin. The Japanese name "Fugu" translates into "river pig". Blowfish can suck water into a special stomach chamber and expand their body, similarly to a porcupinefish. The blowfish is the first fish whose genome has been completely read.

The blowfish is considered a delicacy in Japan, although it is deadly dangerous. The tissues of this fish (especially reproductive organs, liver, intestines and skin) of some blowfish contain the poison of tetrodotoxin. First signs of poisoning appear in 30 minutes after ingestion. Numbness of the tongue, lips and fingertips come first. Next are headaches, fatigue, lassitude, speech impediment and difficulty to breathe. Gradual paralysis of breathing muscles follows, with a coma and death within 24 hours after eating a blowfish.

You can find more about blowfish on BLE Poisonous Nature. Stay tuned!

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith