Leonardo DiCaprio praises Indian man’s discovery of rare fish species

1690311029 Leonardo DiCaprio praises Indian mans discovery of rare fish species
Pathala Eel Loach, a fish that lives in groundwater, newly discovered fish by an Indian man who received praise from Leonardo DiCaprio. — Twitter/@LabRajeev
Pathala Eel Loach, a fish that lives in groundwater, newly found fish by an Indian man who obtained reward from Leonardo DiCaprio. — Twitter/@LabRajeev

Nearly three years in the past, an Indian man found a uncommon new species of fish and his discovery not too long ago, gained renewed fame after Hollywood celebrity Leonardo DiCaprio praised it on-line.

In 2020, Abraham A, a former paramilitary soldier from Kerala, found a brand new species of subterranean fish referred to as the Pathala Eel Loach, named after the Sanskrit time period “Pathala,” which suggests “under the toes,” alluding to its underground habitat.

This species, resembling a small snake, resides in aquifers — intensive layers of porous rock and sediment that include underground water.

Whereas taking a shower, Abraham who hails from the Alappuzha district, stumbled upon an surprising discovery as he seen a crimson thread within the bucket and upon nearer inspection, discovered that it was shifting. This unprecedented discovery left him intrigued.

After Abraham made the invention of a brand new fish species, he positioned it in a glass jar and reached out to Dr Binoy Thomas, an area faculty professor who later referred him to researchers on the Kerala College of Fisheries and Ocean Research (KUFOS) who have been in a position to determine the species.

A couple of weeks later, 4 further fish from the identical species have been present in Abraham’s properly and water tank.

In response to the BBC, final week, Leonardo DiCaprio, an environmental campaigner, introduced consideration again to the fascinating discovery of the Pathala Eel Loach by posting a vibrant image on Instagram and praising Abraham.

“The wild is throughout us and generally all it takes to find a brand new species goes a few regular day,” the actor stated.

The invention, DiCaprio wrote, confirmed “how citizen science” was the “key for researchers to check these unknown, underground ecosystems”.

The Pathala Eel Loach is a sort of fish that lives in underground water, in contrast to most fish that stay in rivers, lakes, or floor water.

“We’ve got round 17-18 such species in India and not less than 11 of those are in Kerala,” Dr Rajeev Raghavan, an assistant professor at Kufos, informed BBC.

These fish have a definite attribute of solely being current in sure areas like India, China (which boasts the very best variety of groundwater fish), and Mexico.

In response to Raghavan, catching these fish is just doable after they occur to come back out by faucets as they reside in groundwater.

In the course of the summer season, fish can generally be present in wells which might be linked to aquifers.

Kerala has the biggest variety of homestead wells in India, with almost seven million buildings positioned within the state’s highland and midland areas.

For instance, in Abraham’s scenario, there’s a risk that the fish might have migrated from the groundwater into the properly. From there, it might have travelled to the water tank on the roof and finally ended up in his bucket by the faucet.

“It’s an unintentional opportunistic type of sampling,” stated Raghavan.

The scientist explains that groundwater fish weren’t recognized till the Nineteen Fifties. Kerala’s existence was confirmed in 2015 when Kufos studied them beneath a state government-funded undertaking. The college launched a Citizen Science Community to coach folks about these fish.

“We informed them to name us or ship us a message. That’s how we’ve collected greater than 150 specimens of all of the 11 species,” Raghavan stated.

In response to scientists, the invention of the Pathala Eel Loach holds significance when it comes to evolution.

“Most groundwater fish are historical,” Raghavan stated, including {that a} research performed on one of many 11 species found in Kerala revealed that they originated 125 million years in the past, through the time when dinosaurs existed on Earth.

“Which means that all fish trapped in underground programs have been round for thousands and thousands of years,” he stated.

Abraham discovered the invention to be necessary from the beginning, however it turned much more significant after DiCaprio’s submit.

“Such an enormous man has taken my title. I’m elated and really comfortable,” he stated.