This is scarier than Jaws.
Paging Fox Mulder! Fox Mulder, it is time to come out of retirement!
This makes my never swim in water you can’t see through rule make even more sense.
Ok, so clicking through, I saw that this is talking about a Pacu. A few things here:
Sure, it’s related to the piranha, they share a subfamily, but that’s approximately the equivalent of trying to say your housecat is a cheetah. There’s plenty of distance there. The headline makes it sound like there is a man-eater on the loose, but that’s typically not what these fish do. They have blunt teeth instead of sharp ones like the piranha, and they use them to eat things like nuts that happen to fall in the water. (Yeah, the joke just writes itself, doesn’t it?)
It’s also not too surprising that a Pacu was found in an Illinois lake, since it’s a common aquarium fish that gets dumped when it gets too big. (Seriously, people. Don’t just take random animals that were pets and let them go in the wild. At best you’re sending them to a slow death. At worst…well, some other person ends up singing soprano.) A quick trip to wikipedia showed me that they have been found in 30 of the 50 states. This shows that what’s worse than the threat of attack (unless you happen to be one of the guys in New Guinea whose testicles were bitten off) is that this is an invasive species which is doing a fairly decent job of surviving wherever people introduce it. It can end up doing some serious damage to aquatic ecosystems.
The other point this article brings up is Jeremy Wade, who was referenced in the article. He did an episode of River Monsters where he discovered that the “Ball Cutter” in Papau New Guinea was actually Pacu that had been introduced. The important point to get here is that River Monsters is an incredibly interesting show, and you should check it out. Though it will only encourage you to keep to your rule about not swimming in water you can’t see through.