Goldfish are well known as a pet fish. These shimmering red, orange, or yellow fish are members of the carp family.
They are a 'colour variant' (usually these fish are silver or grey) that first became prized in Imperial China over 1,000 years ago. Eventually, they became popular all across the world as the perfect fish for home aquariums and ponds.
But years of being such a common pet have hidden a truth about the goldfish. Though we know them as a tiny fish (barely a few centimetres long), that is only because we tend to keep them in a tiny environment. If you release a goldfish into the wild, it can become a surprisingly big fish.
Just ask Andy Hackett. This fisher from the UK was recently fishing in a lake in France where he caught 'The Carrot'. This is the nickname of an enormous goldfish that weighs a stunning 30 kilograms (67 pounds)! That's as much as an average 8-year-old human.
This fish might weigh about as much as you!
Released to live on
This fish may be surprising to us, but it is actually well known to those around Bluewater Lakes, a carp fishery in Champagne, France. She is a leather carp/koi hybrid (mix) that was released into the pond by the fishery about 20 years ago. Sportfishing is common in the area and the fishery wanted to give anglers something exciting to catch.
And she is definitely that!
That said, The Carrot has managed to avoid being caught much over the years. Despite her bright orange colour making her visible in the dark water, she has continued to feed and grow to her massive size with few disturbances.
Hackett himself knew of her legend but never believed he would catch her. He released her back into the water after taking a few photos so that no one would doubt his achievement.
And with that, The Carrot remains the queen of Bluewater Lakes. Long may she reign!