Well, not exactly piranhas, more Garra rufa or “doctor” fish. And not so much an attack, more a mouthing. Jasmine Valley Eco Resort has a fish pond and they encourage the guests to feed the fish with the dead skin on their feet. It’s better than buying fish food, and it goes with their recycling philosophy.
I had to have a go. The fish took their time to get interested. Maybe my feet were not attractive enough. Perhaps the python fat cream had softened them up too much. But then I felt a tickle, and I involuntarily jerked my feet out of the water. Now I knew what it felt like- tiny, toothless jaws sucking at my calloused soles – I could tolerate it.
Garra rufa fish are one thing, but prawns are something else.
After 15 minutes, the fish had had their easy pickings, and began to lose interest. My feet felt smooth and clean.
A few years ago, that august scientific journal, The Sun newspaper, ran a story about the health risks of fish pedicures. It said that there was a risk of contracting hepatitis C and HIV. Needless to say, this report was almost completely wrong; the risks are infinitesimally small. But there is a skin condition related to contact with fresh fishy water. “Fish tank Granuloma” is caused by Mycobacterium marinum. I have seen one case in UK, as it’s pretty rare.
My feet have yet to erupt with boils, so I think I’m safe.