Pet goldfish that have been released into the wild by their owners are poised to become a major problem for western Australia's waterways.
A new study from Murdoch University has found that the abandoned fish are not only adapting to their newfound habitats but are apparently thriving.
Researchers found that the fish can grow as big as a football and many weight between two and four pounds.
The giant goldfish have also shown the ability to travel vast distances, with one particularly spry creature managing to journey an incredible 142 miles!
Since goldfish are not native to Australia, they are considered an 'alien' fish and ecologists have begun to show concern over the effect the burgeoning population may have on the Australian ecosystem.
According to experts, the explosion in the goldfish population could upset water quality and greatly disrupt the native fish and vegetation that once thrived in the lakes and rivers that have been invaded by the former pets.
While it may be a far cry from fears of giant alligators lurking the sewers of New York, the threat of giant goldfish overwhelming the waters of Australia appears to be a very real possibility.
A similar epidemic has struck America's Gulf Coast as invasive lionfish have become so pervasive that environmentalists have actually been encouraging people to eat them in order to help curtail their population.
Should the tactic prove effective, perhaps we'll be seeing our friends in Australia dining on goldfish in the not-too-distant future.
Source: Murdoch University