They’re the reason we always check twice before going into the sea and definitely never leave the toilet seat up at night – flesh-eating piranhas are here in Dubai.
Yep, the freshwater fish that’s commonly found in South America (not off Kite Beach or in your bathroom) is moving into the emirate’s Green Planet.
The tropical rainforest bio-dome is now home to 1,000 pygocentrus nattereri, or red-bellied piranhas. One of the most dangerous and aggressive of its species, it’s actually more of an urban myth that piranhas feast on human flesh. Did you know, they also bark and some species are vegetarian?
Every day at 4pm, visitors to The Green Planet can watch a live piranha feeding frenzy and hear some stereotypes being dispelled. You’ll find the razor-toothed residents in the Flooded Rainforest, alongside fellow aquatic life including the distinctively patterned motoro rays, and the impressive archer fish, which shoot water at their prey.
If you haven’t been to the evergreen attraction since it opened in August 2016, it’s filled up more than 3,000 plants and animals, spiralling around the world’s largest indoor man-made and life-sustaining tree. The Green Planet is also home to some friendlier exotic creatures, like Linnaeus’ two-toed Sloth, a Burmese Python, squirrel monkey, sugar gliders and a bat cave.
Just don’t watch the Piranha movies (from the 1978 original to 2012 epic Piranha 3DD) before you go.
City Walk. Open Sunday-Wednesday, 10am-7pm; Thursday-Saturday 10am-8pm. Tickets are from AED 89 online and AED 99 on the door. For more information, visit www.thegreenplanetdubai.com