From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Wiki Commons

Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A piranha or piraña is a member of family Characidae freshwater fish that inhabits South American rivers. In Venezuela, they are called caribes. They are known for their sharp teeth and a voracious appetite for meat.


Attacks resulting in deaths are recurring in the Amazon basin. In 2011 a drunk eighteen-year-old man was attacked and killed in Rosario del Yata, Bolivia.

In popular culture

Films have often painted piranhas as aggressive, insatiable predators. An example of this perception in media appears in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice, where a piece of meat is shown being fed to pet piranhas owned by the film's main antagonist, Blofeld, then only a bone is raised from the water. Later on, a woman is thrown into the piranha pool, although all that is seen is water bubbling vigorously.

Piranha (1978) and Piranha II: The Spawning (1981) perpetuated the piranha's sinister image by showing murderous piranha fish biting and eating humans.

Piranha 3D (2010) is another Hollywood film, this time portraying the incident as starting with an under-water fault opening and allowing prehistoric piranha into a lake (versus an accidental addition as in the 1978 film).

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Piranha" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools