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‘Siamese’ Pike Photograph

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Message that includes a photograph of what appears to be a two-headed pike suggests that the freak fish is a result of chemicals in the water. A new, social media driven, version claims that the “creepy” fish was caught in Pigeon Lake, Alberta. 

Brief Analysis

Versions of this “Siamese Pike” photograph have been circulating since at least 2001. Many different locations across North America have been specified in various versions of the message. None have been confirmed. While many commentators believe that the photograph depicts a genuine conjoined twin fish, many others suggest that the image shows a smaller pike with its head thrust through the gill of the larger pike. Alas, more than a decade on, whether the image shows one fish or two is likely to remain one of life’s little mysteries. Unless the angler responsible finally comes forward with compelling evidence either way. 

Example

Subject: FW: Siamese Pike Caught in North Bay

Siamese Pike Caught in North Bay

WELL I WOULD WONDER WHAT KIND OF CHEMICALS LIE IN LAKE NIPPISSING TO CREATE SUCH A FREAK OF NATURE…..DONT THINK I WOULD WANT TO EAT THAT OR WALLEYE’S FROM LAKE NIPISSING . NOW…….WHO KNOWS MAYBE THE LOCALS HAVE BEEN PUMPING SOMETHING INTO THE LAKE TO INCREASE THEIR THREE FISH LIMIT’S…….ENJOY HAVE A LOOK AT THIS!!!

Siamese Pike Caught in North Bay
Maybe we should send this to the Americans!
It might be good advertising…..
2 fish for the price of one crazy looking!
Does that count as one or two fish???
You be the judge!
This is unbelievable! This is actually true.
The weird thing is how it survived all these years!

Proof there’s something in the water!

Siamese Pike

Detailed Analysis

Versions of this “Siamese Pike” photograph have been circulating since at least 2001. This variant of the email claims that the freak fish was caught in Lake Nippissing near North Bay in Ontario, Canada. Other variants relocate the catch to North Dakota, Utah, and other American states. After a lull of some years, the image suddenly surfaced on various social media websites in mid 2013. The 2013 version suggests that the fish was caught in Pigeon Lake, Alberta.

The photograph has generated a great deal of lively online debate. Many believe that the photograph depicts a genuine conjoined twin fish. Many others believe that the image shows a smaller pike with its head thrust through the gill of the larger pike. It is difficult to draw a reliable conclusion based on this one photograph alone.
Conjoined twin fish are occasionally born, either naturally, or due to scientific manipulation although they are more likely to die before reaching maturity. A mature conjoined fish is not impossible, however, and the image may indeed depict a genuine example. On the other hand, it is also quite possible that the photograph simply shows two fish in an unusual position. Many commentators theorize that the smaller fish has made its way along the stringer line and somehow wedged its head inside the mouth of the larger fish by way of the gill plate. Others suggest that the head of the smaller fish has been deliberately forced through the gill plate in order to create a fake Siamese twin ready for photographing.

Some references claim that the fish was caught in 2001 by angler Donald Tayer on the Ottertail (Otter Tail) River near Wahpeton, North Dakota and was supposedly authenticated by the ND Game and Fish Department. I contacted the ND Game and Fish Department to ask if the authentication claim was true. However, a representative from the Fisheries Division replied to say that, to the best of her knowledge, no one from the ND Game and Fish Department ever verified the catch. It also should be noted that, although Wahpeton North Dakota is located fairly close to the Otter Tail, the river actually runs through the neighbouring state of Minnesota.

This version of the message blames chemical pollution of waterways for the “freak of nature”. However, even if the fish is a genuine conjoined twin, it is not necessarily chemical contamination that caused the condition. Without further evidence, such claims are mere conjecture.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer