On May 2017, Missouri angler Monroe Mackinney hooked a large bass at an eight-acre pond that belonged to his parents. But as he was about to unhook the fish, something inside surprised him--so surprised that he almost threw it away.
He told The Sun: "I went to lip him so I could remove my hook and that's when I saw something in its mouth. I was hesitant to remove the hook, but upon further inspection I realized it was a mole inside the fish's mouth."
That's right, it's a mole inside of a bass!
MacKinney took a picture of it and posted it on Instagram, where it went viral. "[The mole] scared me a little, went to take my lure [out] and [I] almost dropped the fish... thought it was a turtle," MacKinney wrote. He let the bass swam off just fine. The mole, however, didn't make it in the first place. The mammal "looked pretty fresh like within the last couple days or so," he added.
While the incident is very peculiar, he does have some theories on how the mammal got into the fish's mouth. His "best guess is the heavy rains may have pushed him out, or a big bird like a hawk, great blue heron, or an eagle, which are all common in Missouri, dropped it in the water."
He also added that the bass would have no problem swallowing the mole if such fish was large enough. However, it could've had some issue passing the long front claws. "Cartilaginous tails and spinal columns of mammals are the last thing to be digested in fish stomachs," he added. But judging from the picture, it was sure damn successful!
While the mole can really make almost anyone cringe, big fishes have actually long been known to eat small mammals. A study on 2011 showed that 25 percent of trout and Arctic grayling (that are over a foot long and are 13 years old) in Alaska's Wood River basin had shrews in their stomachs.
So, nothing to be worried about. This is what you call food chain (but probably of another kind?).