A woman attempted to save a deadly pufferfish from dying after it washed up on the beach, in what’s been dubbed the most “spellbinding” rescue ever.
Beachgoer T-Piff documented the hilariously drawn-out rescue on TikTok, uploading seven parts to the saga, with the most popular segment watched more than 19 million times alone.
The 28-year-old began filming after spotting a fish which was stranded on the sand, captioning the first video: “Saving a fish from drowning part 1.”
She captioned follow-up clips: “Part 2: he said Beach Boll. Part 3: basically a full minute of bullying a pufferfish. Part 4: dumb sucker almost made it. Part 5: Puffbert may be an idiot. Part 6: flipping a fish across the beach draws helpful attention. Part 7: we yeet a fish with a skim board.”
“We found a fish”, she says in the initial video, shared last week from an unknown location, as she tries to hold a golden Labrador back from investigating.
“Let’s hope he makes it into the surf. Go little fish, go. I’ll find a shell, a big shell, and kind of, when the next wave comes, tip him. We will save the fish from drowning. Come on wave. I know he struggles, I’m sorry little fishy. I’m trying to help you,” she says.
After grabbing what looks like a mussel shell, she tries to roll the fish back to the waves when it expands, as she exclaims: “It is a pufferfish. Oh my god. They’re very poisonous. I’m not touching him with my hand.”
Pufferfish contain a deadly toxin known as tetrodotoxin, which kills numerous people each year, National Geographic reported.
“To humans, tetrodotoxin is deadly, up to 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide. There is enough toxin in one pufferfish to kill 30 adult humans, and there is no known antidote,” its website said.
While the poison is usually ingested, sold as a delicacy known as fugu, T-Piff didn’t want to take any chances by touching the fish’s spines. She later added to her TikTok bio “currently wishing I knew more about fish.”
In the ensuing clips she continues to roll the fish, who she called Puffbert, back to the sea, saying: “I’m trying so hard to save him, water cooperate please. I’m going to get this fish back to the water, in the rudest possible way. Follow the tide please. I want you to make it. Work with me here. Please get back in the water.”
She manages to get it underwater, but Puffbert still appears stuck, causing T-Piff to re-evaluate her decision.
“Oh my god you’re too stupid to live. I think it might be natural selection now guys,” she says.
But in the end she refuses to give up, “cooperate, get in there, please go home. I see you begging for life, please take it,” she pleads while trying to think of how to save Puffbert.
Eventually T-Piff’s friend tries a new approach and uses a board to scoop up the pufferfish, before taking him out to sea and releasing him under the water.
“We’re heroes! Just don’t come back, stay out there,” she said in the end.
After the clips blew up, T-Piff uploaded another video today explaining more about the saga, saying: “The more frequently asked ones are why I didn’t pick him up. To my previous knowledge, I have since been educated, I thought Mr Puffbert was toxic. I was under the impression all pufferfish were toxic.”
The day before she confirmed the fish did stay in the water after she eventually stopped filming, saying: “Yes the fish stayed in the water. No, I was not kicking him because people have asked. To my best knowledge Puffbert is off living his best life with all the other fishies in the sea. Happy boy. Happy ending.”
People have been gripped by the entire rescue, with Jim saying: “The whole pufferfish saga was spellbinding. Lol.”
Angel wrote: “There’s so many parts I’m so invested.”
Kenny joked: “Legend says she’s still pushing him.”
Lj commented: “I’m literally crying over this fish dude.”
Ari thought: “He’s like the drunk friend who doesn’t want to leave at the end of the party.”
And Araz Yousif asked: “Did I just watch 6 parts to save a fish.”