It was a mystery that perplexed and disgusted social media. A strange creature found in a can of tuna shocked one English woman. Zoe Butler of Nottingham, England was making a meal for her children when she opened the can and found two little eyes staring back at her. Horrified, she took a picture and immediately asked the social media world for help in identifying the odd creature.
It was enough to make anyone lose their appetite and spur an online debate: #tunagate.
Not only did she ask the local paper for help, but she also contacted the makers of the tuna, Princes. The company immediately apoligized and asked her to send in the can so they can study the findings.
Well, now it seems as if there might be an answer to what exactly the nasty creature is. The Nottingham Post reported Princes’ findings. The company says it is a megalopa, a small, immature crab, which does not pose a food health risk. It may be safe to eat, but it definitely doesn’t look appetizing.
However, experts at the Natural History Museum in London are poking holes in Princes’ theory. They say their findings identify the creature as Cymothoa exigua, or tongue-eating louse, a parasite that enters through the gills of a fish and attaches itself to the fish’s tongue. The parasite may have been attached to a smaller fish that was later eaten by the tuna.
Whatever it is, Butler said she isn’t looking for a lawsuit or money. She says she just wants to make sure that it never happens to another person and don’t even think about giving her a lifetime supply of tuna.