This just in from the "strange but probably true" files. Fisherman Raphael Biagini reeled in what is believed to be a 14 kilogram koi carp in France, where the fish are quite popular. The fish, a vivid orange, looks a great deal like a giant goldfish. The photo is several months old, but it's buzzing right now, thanks to an article from the U.K.'s Daily Mail.
Not surprisingly, Yahoo! searches on "giant goldfish" are currently soaring. However, it's important to remember that this guy only looks like a super-size version of every child's first pet. And, for the record, Mr. Biagini, who has caught many a giant carp in his day, returned the orange fish to the water after having his photo taken.
Of course, some people may look at the photo and scream, "Fake!" And, indeed, the Web is full of stories of altered photos. However, from what we can tell, a fish this size and this color is possible. According to Ken Peterson, communications director at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, this isn't out of the realm of possibility. If a koi has the right amount of food and enough space to grow, he says, there's no telling how big they can get.
Indeed, koi carp have grown a lot bigger. John McCosker of the California Academy of Sciences points out that, according to FishBase.org, the largest koi on record weighed almost 90 pounds (like the orange fish, it was caught in France).
While it is a bit odd that the fish doesn't appear to be struggling, McCosker explains that this kind of fish isn't among the most wild. And the fish's color, while striking, isn't all that unique.
Still, there are those who don't believe the photo is real. Many commenters to the Daily Mail story point out that the fish appears to weigh much more than 14 kilograms. One doubter writes that the fisherman is holding the fish the way somebody would hold a 1-pound package.
— Mike Krumboltz is a Yahoo!US writer. You can read more Y!News blogs here.