Aquaman, or at least the guy who plays Aquaman, referred to humanity as a “disease” in a U.N. speech on climate change earlier this year, with the harsh words implying a worldwide moral failing for humankind, especially when it comes to how our species takes care of Earth’s oceans. But obviously there are plenty of people who still care about marine life, such as Henry Kim, a Korean fashion designer who built a “wheelchair” for his disabled goldfish.
In a video posted to the YouTube channel, Caters Clips, Kim’s extraordinary act of fish affection is described, and it’s just as selfless and creative as it sounds. In fact, it may even be more impressive than it seems, because Kim has managed to keep the goldfish alive for far longer than it should’ve been; a BoredPanda article discussing Kim’s invention quotes Kim as saying that goldfish infected with a disease like the one that currently grips this wheelchair-using fish usually results in death after just a couple of months, while his fish has already been alive for five months. The average lifespan of a goldfish, by the way, is apparently a whopping 10 to 15 years.
The invention, which we first heard about via Laughing Squid, is an ingenious way of keeping goldfish afloat, right side up, when they become infected with an ailment known as swim bladder disease. Swim bladder disease, sometimes referred to as swim bladder disorder, is common among aquarium fish, and affects their ability to control their buoyancy. While normal goldfish are able to float right side up, and change elevation in water at will, fish infected with swim bladder disease are unable to control their direction and level of floatation. This is because their swim bladder, an internal gas-filled organ, is dysfunctional thanks to either intestinal parasites, or constipation due to overfeeding.
And while the swim bladder disease wiki notes that it can be cured by feeding green peas to an infected fish, or having “fish surgeons” adjust the fish’s buoyancy by putting a stone in the swim bladder—or even removing a part of the bladder—presumably Kim’s wheelchair is more effective and less costly. (We can only imagine how much money it costs to have a “fish surgeon” come out to your house to perform bladder surgery.)
A healthy swim bladder. Uwe Gille
It’s unclear if Kim plans on making his goldfish wheelchair, or at least the instructions on how to build it, available for fish aficionados (a-fish-ionados?) everywhere. In the meantime, people can try that green pea treatment, which is supposed to work within a few hours. If you need a step-by-step guide on how to manage that little maneuver, the website Complete Goldfish Care has you covered.
What do you think about Kim’s goldfish wheelchair? Does a small, yet heartwarming act of kindness like this restore your faith in humanity and its ability to take care of marine life? Float your opinions, in a healthy, balanced way, in the comments!
Feature image: Henry Kim via Caters Clips