Shi Yu 师鱼.jpg

The Shi Yu1 fish was recorded in the Classic of Mountains and Seas, however very little was written - more of a passing comment - and what was written can be interperated in two very different ways.

The original text states:


"Another five hundred leagues to the north [on land] then another five hundred leagues through waters lies Shao Mountain... the source of the River Li Guo is located here, flowing east into the River Huang. There are Shi Yu in these waters, xxx."

"xxx" is where the ambiguity lies in translation. This sentence "食之杀人" could be read as "Anyone who consumes their flesh will die" (presumably meaning the fish is poisonous) or, it could be read as "Consuming their flesh causes the consumer to [want to] murder" (presumably possessing them or driving them mad in some way).

I personally cannot see why either of these translations would be more correct than the other and leave it to you to decide which version you prefer.

Shi Yu 师鱼 (shī yú)
Status: Rare Beast
Gender: Male or Female
Pronunciation: (audio file coming soon)
Best known for: Not to be eaten

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