The Asian arowana, also known as dragonfish and monkeyfish, is one of the most coveted and expensive animals in the world. With a growing popularity that was born as a result of being included in the list of endangered species, its procurement and care is a real odyssey.
The Asian arowana’s environment is steeped in shady business and smuggling, which adds even more value for collectors, many of whom are willing to do anything just to have a specimen in their aquarium. Learn more about the dragon fish: the most expensive pet in the world.
The rise in popularity of the Asian arowana in the pet world.
300,000 dollars is the highest known price for which an Asian arowana has been sold, with the price usually around 200,000 dollars, but how did it get to this point?
In the past, the Asian arowana was considered just another swamp fish; even used as dinner by some people in Southeast Asia. However, due to its predatory characteristics and the fact that it is a slow reproducing fish, it could not cope with human intervention and ended up almost on the verge of extinction; it was then that the international community, in the 1970s, included it along with other species in the list of protected species.
Paradoxically, however, it was precisely this fact that boosted the popularity of the Asian arowana in the market, despite the fact that it is an animal whose international trade is prohibited. The sense of rarity that it conveyed to people as a forbidden animal, coupled with its beauty and the belief that it brings good luck and prosperity, made it an aquarium star in the Asian trade.
Emily Voigt, who has gone through a long journey to understand the world around the dragon fish and to be able to see one in nature, describes it as a true story of power and obsession, and how human beings can go to unsuspected limits for what is considered a whim. Something he delves into in his book “The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession and the World’s Most Coveted Fish”.
Curiosities of the Asian arowana, the dragon fish
The curiosities surrounding the dragonfish are far from over, as it is undoubtedly a unique animal that enjoys its own charm beyond being a popular fish for the world that surrounds it. Some of these curiosities are:
- The Asian arowana is a
that has existed since the time of the dinosaurs, capable of devouring in the wild all kinds of animals, from insects, fish, birds, snakes, monkeys, turtles and rodents.
- Its nickname of dragonfish, along with its association with the virtues of bringing good luck and prosperity, is due to its appearance. For the Asian arowana resembles a dragon in water, as well as the famous paper dragons of the Chinese New Year festivals.
- Originally from Southeast Asia, the arowana has spread to other parts of the world, giving rise to other specimens that vary in color and size. However, it is specifically the Asian arowana that is ranked as the most expensive pet in the world.