The internet is going crazy over a video showing a fish that refuses to die. The fish, which has been beheaded AND cut in half, suddenly starts flapping around in a dish. Is this the start of the zombie apocalypse?
The video, posted below, is pretty disturbing, but it turns out there is no need to be alarmed. In fact, this phenomenon has occurred before with other fish and even squid. Can you imagine your calamari trying to climb off your plate?
What’s actually happening is a chemical reaction that is stimulating the sea creature’s muscles. In the case of the fish in the video, it is definitely dead. There is no brain function what so ever.
The fish does not feel pain, and its brain tissue isn’t alive, but some of its muscle tissue still is. As a result, very freshly killed fish will still respond to stimuli for a short period after death.
A chemistry professor at the University of Virginia explains: “Most of the tissue… is actually still alive. Cell metabolites are nearly intact, membrane voltages or potentials that exist in nerve cells are probably still close to intact.
“Even though the brain function is missing, the tissues will still respond to stimuli.”
Therefore, adding salt – such as from soy sauce or seasonings – can cause muscle tissue to react. The salt is absorbed, changing the voltage across nerve cell membranes, which triggers muscle contractions.
No need to worry about a zombie invasion just yet! If you’d like to check out the video in its entirety, you can watch it below. Warning: It may put you off fish for a while!