There’s a common phrase, “Like a fish out of water.” We know the general idea of what this means - discomfort, or being trapped in unfamiliar territory. But what happens to a real fish when it’s out of the water? We know most aren’t able to survive...but are there any that can? Here’s a look at which fish can survive outside water.
1. The mangrove rivulus is one tough fish.
The fish species that tops this list is the mangrove rivulus. They can survive for about 66 days on land! Most fish die within half an hour outside of water because they can only pull oxygen out of the water through their gills. The Mangrove Rivulus, however, is able to pull oxygen from the air as well using specialized skin.
2. West African Lungfish know how to make it through tough times.
Next on the list is a type of lungfish. While it doesn’t survive out of water in an active state the way a mangrove rivulus does, when they become dormant they can live for years. What they do is wrap themselves in a type of cocoon and bury themselves in mud. Once in the mud they go into a dormant state and stay that way until the area around them is no longer going through a dry spell. They’re able to breath by using primitive lungs.
3. Some catfish can walk...yes, walk.
While they can only survive for a few hours, some catfish species can hop out of the water and use their fins to wriggle around on land. They’re supported by an organ that helps it take oxygen not just from water, but from the air as well. So, if you ever witness this sight for yourself, don't panic, you're not seeing things.