Photos Of A Fish With Human-Like Features Have Gone Viral. Are They Fact Or Fiction?

"Kylie Jenner is shaking in her boots."

Cover image via Twitter @raff_nasir

Meet the triggerfish - 2020's latest nightmare

Photos of this feisty fish with oddly human-like features went viral earlier this month after a Malaysian netizen tweeted it on 2 July.

Twitter user @raff_nasir wrote, "Its lips are sexier than mine."

The tweet has since gained over 14,700 likes and has prompted many creative responses

The fish reminded several commenters of celebrities with famously plump lips. 

Remember when the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge was a thing? This fish sure takes the cake! 

It has also drawn international attention, with a few news portals even going so far as to say that netizens were aroused by the fish's lips.  

Yes, these creatures actually exist!

According to BioExpedition, there are 40 species of triggerfish that can be found in tropical and subtropical waters, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. 

Based on the markings found on its body, Global News has identified the fish captured in the photo as a blackbelly triggerfish

While many netizens have been focused on the fish's lips, experts are questioning if the teeth in the image have been edited

A quick search done by SAYS revealed that blackbelly triggerfish generally have naturally thick lips. 

However, we could not find another close-up image of a blackbelly triggerfish's teeth. Instead, we stumbled across several photos of terrifying chompers belonging to other species of triggerfish. 

A titan triggerfish photographed at Shark Reef Aquarium in Las Vegas, US.

Image via Joel Sartore/National Geographic

The skeleton of a gray triggerfish.

Image via

Known for being aggressively protective, these fish do have quite the bite

Their diet includes hard-shelled marine creatures, such as crabs and molluscs. Unlike the neat and flat set of teeth seen in the photo, most triggerfish have tough teeth and powerful jaws that enable them to crush spiny sea urchins, according to National Geographic.

Speaking to CNET, marine ecologist at University of Technology, Sydney, David Booth exclaimed that, "Their teeth are large but not human-like, so yes the pictures do look fake!"

For now, it is unclear whether or not the original images were doctored

@raff_nasir himself was unsure if the images were actually real.

"I have a feeling the images are real because I've seen many like it. But I just chose two random photos," he told SAYS.

Global News revealed that two separate Google reverse image searches did not yield any possible Photoshop source for the mouth.

Netizens chimed in, saying that fish with humanoid teeth are not uncommon. Take this one for example:

Unlike the blackbelly triggerfish, which may already have desirable features, pet arowana fishes are being put under the knife for the sake of 'beauty':

It can be tough to distinguish fact from fiction. SAYS debunked "past pandemic" photos recently uploaded to Public Health Malaysia's Facebook page:

To help curb fake news, Google recently introduced a fact-checker to image searches:

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