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Mackerel. The REAL menace of the sea.

Mackerel. The REAL menace of the sea.


The Inertia

Taking a mackerel to the face isn’t usually the first thing you’re worried about when you paddle out. It’s probably not even on the list of things you’re thinking about. But a 27-year-old Brazilian surfer got royally messed up by one.

During an afternoon session in Sao Vincente way back in December of 2005, the man fell off his board and smashed his face on something solid. He dislocated his jaw, fractured his eye socket and cheek bone, and somehow, three pieces of the bottom jaw of the fish got stuck way up his nose. The incident only recently came to light because of a study that was released in the Journal of Wilderness & Environmental Medicine.

Immediately after the incident, he went to the hospital and had his jaw fixed. Then, three days later, he returned, complaining of severe pain in his face. Doctors told him he had sinustitis and  prescribed anti-histamines, which of course, didn’t treat the actual problem: a chunks of the mackerel’s jawbone had broken off and lodged themselves in his sinus cavity. “Everything smells like fish,” he didn’t actually say, but probably should have.

Surgeons removed three pieces of a fish's lower jaw, two of which are shown above, from the nasal cavity of a surfer who broke his cheek and dislocated his jaw.

Surgeons removed three pieces of a fish’s lower jaw, two of which are shown above, from the nasal cavity of a surfer who broke his cheek and dislocated his jaw.

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