Hoaxes & Rumors

The Fake “Pig Fish” Photo

The Fake “Pig Fish” Photo

An image allegedly shows a new species of fish known as a Hogfish or Pigfish because it has a head which resembles a pig. Is this real or fake?

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It’s fake.

Let’s first take a look at the caption for the image above which has circulated online for years:

A new species of fish has been discovered in Texas creeks. It’s known as the Wild Hogfish and can be extremely aggressive, and their numbers are increasing like crazy. Very tasty, a little like bacon, they are good eatin’. Once reintroduced domestically, they become goldfish.

Another variant describes the image as:

This ‘pig-nose fish’, was found in the dam of Clanwilliam, flowing waters of the Burg Rivers of Cape Town, South Africa. I have never seen one of these critters but doubt it that it would be kosher or halaal 😉

This photo has circulated with a variety of names attached to it, such as pigfish, pig-nosed fish, and wild hogfish.

The image above does not, however, show a new species of fish. It is merely an example of digital editing, as evidenced by the original image, seen below. That photo was posted back in 2010 and by no means shows a new species of fish. (Source)

pigfish-orig

Real Pigfish

There is a species of fish which is referred to as Pigfish, or Orthopristis chrysoptera. It is described as characterized by its “irregular barring on the cheeks, a mottled appearance, or indistinct, irregular vertical bars.”

real pigfish

This is a real “pigfish.”

Hogfish

To further confusion, a species of fish known as hogfish does exist. That fish does does not resemble the fake pigfish pictured above.

This is what a real "hogfish" looks like. Source: Wikipedia.

This is what a real “hogfish” looks like. Source: Wikipedia.

Bottom Line

A new species of fish called the Wild Hogfish or Pig Fish was not discovered in Texas as depicted in the fake photo above. There is a real Pigfish and Hogfish, but they do not resemble the image in circulation.

Updated December 5, 2015
Originally published March 2014

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