A video of a fried fish seemingly springing back to life has gone viral, stunning viewers and angering animal rights groups.
The fish is completely fried, head and all, ready for purchase in Hengyang, China.
An astounding video, however, captures the moment when the fish seems to spring to life. It begins flailing, causing its crispy body to crack open.
Take a look for yourself:
While the video is shocking for many, it’s caused outrage among animal lovers who say this is abuse.
A fried fish proved it was not ready to be eaten just yet when it began to twitch on a dinner plate.
The seemingly dead fish came back to life in front of stunned diners in Hengyang, Hunan Province in southern China – and the whole thing was caught on camera.
Placed next to other fried fish, the video shows the fried fish twitch slightly before beginning to flail around – at which point a female patron begins to yell.
The woman can be heard screaming: “Oh no, no, no! It’s cracking!” as the fish begins to jerk its flesh open.
Uploaded to Chinese social media site Weibo, the video has people horrified – and we can see why.
Although the fish looks dead, the video has many people raising concerns about animal abuse – with some believing the fish is suffering.
There’s a few problems with the argument that this is “animal abuse.”
Firstly, neurobiologists say fish don’t have the physiological capacity to consciously feel pain.
Also, this fish is dead. Though it seems to spring to life, its cells are just responding to the environment, possibly helped along by salt used when preparing it for food.
IFL Science explains how:
So why, without signals sent and received via the brain and nervous system, or a beating heart, does dead tissue continue to move? Although the brain and heart are not functioning, there are cells that can still respond to stimuli, for example, added sodium. Immediately after death, muscle motor neurons (the nerves that create movement within the tissue), which are triggered by electrical signals, still contain some membrane potential (difference in ion concentrations).
All cells are polarized, which means that there is a high-to-low gradient of charged atoms, or ions, from inside cells to outside them. The difference between these concentrations is what creates a charge across a membrane.
When not being activated by the nervous system, neurons maintain their membrane potential by pumping out a balance of sodium and potassium ions (both needed to instigate neurons firing). However, when the neuron is activated with an electric signal, specific channels within the cell open up, allowing sodium ions to flood in – and as equilibrium of charge in the cell to its environment is required, potassium channels are, as a result, also opened up, causing them to flood out of the cell.
Eventually the channels close and the neurons work to restore balance between concentrations of sodium and potassium inside and outside them – but not before triggering nearby channels to open, causing a chain reaction within the muscle.
Animal rights activists are wrong to claim that fish can even be ‘abused.’
Although not for the faint of heart, a twitching fried fish isn’t so bad. At least that way, you know it’s fresh.