PHOTOS: Monster Stingray Caught in Thailand May Be World’s Largest Freshwater Fish

Scientists working in the Mae Klong River in Thailand stumbled across this beast of a stingray last week, which they believe to be possibly the largest freshwater fish ever documented.

The ray was caught in water 65 feet deep near the Amphawa District, about an hour outside of Bangkok National Geographic reports. It’s about 14 feet long and was caught by nature conservationist Jeff Corwin and a team of other anglers.

giantstingray01.adapt.1190.1 (1)

From the article:

Nantarika Chansue, a veterinarian and professor at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, helped catch and measure what she calls the “big one.” The ray (Himantura polylepis or H. chaophraya) was 7.9 feet (2.4 meters) across and 14 feet (4.3 meters) long and weighed an estimated 700 to 800 pounds (318 to 363 kilograms), she said via e-mail.

The team was unable to get an exact weight because “it’s really hard to weigh these things without hurting them, because they are such big, awkward animals,” says Zeb Hogan, a National Geographic fellow and a professor of biology at the University of Nevada, Reno.

“Certainly [this] was a huge fish, even compared to other giant freshwater stingrays, and definitely ranks among the largest freshwater fish in the world,” he says.

Unconfirmed estimates of this stingray place its weight at about 1,100 to 1,300 pounds, far exceeding the previous estimated record of 693 pounds. The world’s largest freshwater at the moment, according to Guinness Book of World Records, is the Mekong giant catfish, which also lives in Thailand and weighs roughly 660 pounds.

Watch a video of the stingray embedded in this tweet: