Fishing Around

Goldfish-May-27-MainThis week, I thought I’d talk about one of the most common and popular pets in the world. You may think this article will be about cats or dogs, but you’d be wrong. Today’s blog is all about goldfish!

Now I admit to not knowing that much about goldfish. I’ve no doubt that I won one as a prize at a funfair when I was young, and I’m aware that there are a number of goldfish in my garden pond. Other than that, I’m pretty clueless when it comes to the ubiquitous goldfish. So, after doing a little research online, I have found a swathe of information about them – far too much to fit into this article. I’ve cherry-picked my favourite/most concerning parts and put together a few interesting facts about goldfish that may surprise you.

Firstly, I was curious about whether fairs still give away goldfish as prizes. I hoped this had been banned many years ago. I discovered that 10 years ago, the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in England and Wales makes it an offence to give away an animal as a prize if the person can reasonably be believed to be under 16 and is not accompanied by an adult. Which, sadly and frustratingly, is about as useful to an animal as a chocolate teapot is to us. I appreciate that there will always be stories of ‘prize’ goldfish living for 20+ years, but these are far & few exceptions to the millions who die within a matter of days/weeks. If you want to see what can be done about it, this article from Practical Fishkeeping is an interesting read.

Now for a few unusual facts about goldfish…

  • Of all the domestic fish, goldfish live the longest, the oldest on record survived for over 40 years
  • They can’t blink, so if you want to keep your younger brother or sister quiet for a while, challenge them to a staring contest with the fish!
  • They can recognise human faces
  • Goldfish have a longer attention span than people – at 9 seconds they have a whole 1 second more than us
  • The longest goldfish, according to the Guinness World Record, comes in at a whopping 18.7 inches nose to tail – about the same size as a cat
  • Goldfish are members of the carp family, which includes the beautiful koi carp
  • The collective noun for goldfish is either a glint or a troubling

So there we have it. If you are still fishing for more, you may enjoy our quiz all about fish – good luck!

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