WTF Fun Fact 12900 – Goldfish Bowls Are Banned in Rome

If you want to keep a goldfish in a simple round, glass bowl, don’t move to Rome. While many people believe the myth that goldfish have no memories, that’s simply not true. Research has shown that they do, in fact, remember things. And that’s part of the reason goldfish bowls are banned in Rome.

What’s wrong with goldfish bowls?

The bowls in which many people house their goldfish are quite small compared to the distance the fish like to swim when free. That makes many people believe that it’s cruel to keep them in such a small space with so little stimulation.

According to CBC News, “Rome’s daily newspaper Il Messaggero reported that round bowls cause fish to go blind. Animal activists call the bowls cruel, while fish experts say the bowls don’t provide enough oxygen.”

In 2005, Rome’s city councilors decided that it would ban spherical goldfish bowls for the health of the fish. It also banned giving away goldfish and other animals as prizes.

“The Roman bylaw also prevents animal owners from clipping dogs’ tails or trimming cats’ claws for visual appeal or leaving animals in hot vehicles or store windows. It also offers legal protection to people who feed colonies of cats.”

The fight for (all) animal rights

Rome also made it a law that all owners need to exercise their dogs daily, and that failure to walk your dog could mean a fine of $700.

It’s all part of a trend across the world to secure the well-being of pets, remind people of their responsibilities when they adopt an animal, and try to prevent pet owners from treating animals as simply property instead of living beings entitled to a certain quality of life.

While it’s unclear exactly what effect the law has had, it’s likely made some people second guess their behavior towards animals.  WTF fun facts

Source: “Rome bans ‘cruel’ goldfish bowls” — CBC News

WTF Fact 12428 – A Goldfish Can Hold a Grudge

Sorry, Ted Lasso, but “be a goldfish” might not be the best advice for those ready to hold a grudge. Despite the widespread belief that a goldfish has a memory of just a few seconds, it’s simply false.

We’re not sure who made it up or when, but the first sign that it’s a made-up “fact” is that the information changes based on where you are in the world. Some say the goldfish has a 10-second memory, while others say it’s just 3 seconds. Regardless, none of this has ever been proven by science.

However, scientists have studied goldfish and tried to ascertain how long their memories might be. And you might be alarmed to know that these ubiquitous fish retain can memories for days, months, and even years. There are 60 years worth of research to back up those facts.

Of course, we can’t know exactly what goldfish think, but it’s not all that challenging to test the memory of just about any creatures through experimentation.

Culum Brown is an expert in fish cognition at Macquarie University in Australia. He told Live Science: “We’ve known about the reasonably good memories of goldfish since the ’50s and ’60s. Despite what everybody thinks, they’re actually really intelligent.”

Brown believes that one of the reasons we are so ready to believe that goldfish have almost no memory span is the way we treat them. If a fish had a 3-second memory, that boring glass bowl wouldn’t be cruel. And assuming they’re unintelligent allows us to rest easy believing our scaly pets don’t need any stimulation. Unfortunately, that’s just not true.

According to Brown, goldfish are often used in fish cognition and memory experiments. Research has shown that goldfish can remember where their food comes from, how to manipulate situations to get rewards, and even make their way through mazes.

Maybe it’s time to upgrade that fishbowl. – WTF Fun Facts

Source: “Do goldfish really have a 3-second memory?” — LiveScience

WTF Fun Fact – Goldfish See More Colors

WTF Fun Fact - Goldfish See More Colors

Goldfish can see more colors than we can. Human eyes can see only three primary colors: red, blue and green. All other colors are mixtures of these. A goldfish, however, can see four, making it a tetrachromate. – WTF Fun Facts