Home World The town terrorised by 'man-sized duck-eating' catfish called the 'Beast of Beiseforth'

The town terrorised by 'man-sized duck-eating' catfish called the 'Beast of Beiseforth'

It might sound like the plot of the famous Jaws movie but a small town is under siege from an underwater terror which has left locals afraid to go into the water.

A giant catfish dubbed “The Beast of Beiseforth” is reported to be roaming the depths of a lake near a small settlement in Hesse, northeast Germany.

Certain species of catfish, such as the Wels variety, are endemic across Europe and have been known to reach almost 10 feet in length and weigh upwards of 430lbs.

The carnivorous fish are called catfish because of the sensory whisker-like organs on their heads which are used to detect prey, and they will eat almost anything, from crustaceans and fish, to frogs, snakes, small mammals and aquatic birds such as ducks.

Even humans have reportedly been attacked by the river monster, with legends in Germany and Romania claiming small children were killed in the past.

German newspaper Bild reports the catfish terrorising residents in Beiseförth is thought to be nearly six foot long and is so big one camper could not even fit the whole fish in a photograph of the beast.

Thomas Folli, 56, who runs a local campsite near the lake which contains the fearsome fish, told the paper: “A woman ran to me and just shouted ‘you have to close the lake. There’s a shark'”.

He added: “That’s not a shark, but a catfish.

“I was standing on the bank smoking a cigarette, a duck was swimming not far away. Suddenly something dark like a funnel appeared before my eyes and then the duck was suddenly gone.”

Catfish can live for over 70 years and are found throughout Europe in rivers and lakes, they have also been introduced to parts of the UK as they are a prized specimen for anglers to catch.

Water warden Philipp Montag, 25, told Bild it would take several days for a catfish to digest a duck and that he and colleagues had used sonar equipment to try and locate the creature.

Anglers have also been trying to land the mighty fishy foe, but some believe it might have swam into the River Fulda which connects to the lake or it could be hiding somewhere in the depths.


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