How a Fishy Friend can Face Fatality

Back in college I spoke on a radio station where I talked about Snapple cap facts. It was very fun, but after I graduated I had all of these caps lying around and I couldn’t think of anything else to do with them. I held on to them as mementos, but then I had another idea: Why not write about them? Every two weeks I’m going to post a blog, and I’m not only going to find out whether or not the fact is true or false, I’m also going to go into further detail about it. Stick around, you may learn something.

Today’s Snapple Fact is quite a simple one, yet it is unbelievable at a glance: “Fish can drown.”

Fish can drown

Yup, you read that right; fish, the same animals that live their whole life underwater, can drown. Just reading that fact seems like it’s impossible to be correct; Hasn’t it always been a fact that fish need water to survive? At first I thought that this is simply relating to the fact that if a freshwater fish goes into saltwater or vice-versa it will die (much like what has happened in the few fishing trips I’ve been to), but that isn’t the only case when a fish can die underwater. In fact, it can be quite simpler than that.

Fish underwater(photo from

According to, drowning is “to die under water or other liquid of suffocation,” So we are looking at a death by lack of oxygen underwater.

The way a fish breathes is through its gills; it brings water in through its mouth, and then its internal system dissolves the oxygen it needs into its cells while the water gets forced out by the gills. This would mean that in order for a fish to drown, something would have to be wrong either with its own gills and body, or with the water itself.

There could be times that there isn’t enough oxygen in the water for one reason or another, which could spell disaster for any fishy friends in the area; if they don’t swim to somewhere they can breathe, they suffocate.

Final verdict: True. While it’s different from land animals in the fact that fish can breathe underwater, they still require oxygen like everything else on this earth. Something happens to the oxygen underwater, the fish suffers.


Sources (for further information):


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