Can you picture a fish smoking? No, not puffing out on a cigarette or cigar like a 1970s villain but producing some kind of smoke or vapour from its mouth? Believe it or not, a video going viral on the social media features a fish which uses smoke to gas out its prey, an eel, from its hiding. The eel is hiding in what looks like a hollowed tree trunk or a cave in muddy ground near water. A fish emerges out the water and exhales some smoke multiple times into the hole. As a result, an eel comes out!
What follows next is a few moments of a cat and mouse chase. The fish waits at the edge, and every time the eel tries to come out, it attacks. The eel recedes inside the hole. But surprisingly, this fish doesn’t mind being out in the open air! It reaches out even more each time the chase resumes. Eventually, during the eel’s last fateful attempt to evade the predator, the poor guy gets swallowed whole by the cunning fish just waiting at the edge.
The video is an old one and reshared by IFS officer Susanta Nanda, who has quite a bit of following on Twitter.
However, another similar looking video was shared by singer Big Boi in 2019. It featured the same prey and predator, but the setting was different. A fish waited at the edge of water to swallow an eel. There’s no smoking or theatrical cat-and-mouse chase here.
The fishes featured in both the videos are eel (prey) and a species of lungfish (predator). Many people called the smoking video a fake because it seems unrealistic whether a fish could even be capable of doing something like that. Being outside of water is more plausible because lungfish have both gills and lungs, which allows them to breathe and survive in any environment.
Here is how people reacted:
Many called it fake and called upon a fact-checker to confirm.
Another Twitter user also shared an article by a fact-checking website about the video posted by Big Boi. Although the video has been going viral on social media, it could not be verified if it was real or doctored.