Frozen Fish Brought Back to Life Placing in Warm Water: Fact Check

Pictures Suggesting Frozen Fish Brought Back to Life by Placing in Warm Water
Video of Frozen Fish Brought Back to Life by Placing in Warm Water


Frozen fish brought back to life in warm water after being thawed out.

Other Versions

Frozen fish comes back to life after being put into a bucket of warm water.

Fact Check:

An interesting video in wide circulation on social media sites and elsewhere online since January 2016 claims to show that a Frozen Fish is Brought Back to Life by Placing it in Warm Water for some time (thawed). While quite a number of viewers thought what’s shown in the video could not be real, the revival of the frozen fish is a fact. However, as it appears, the fish was most certainly not frozen inside, to a stage where it could have died.

About the Video

The video in question purports to show a man in a factory take out an apparently frozen-solid fish from a freezer and place it into a basin of warm water along with another healthy fish. The ‘frozen fish’ floats motionless in the water for about a minute, before moving its fins, emitting a few bubbles, gliding around the basin, and then moving around freely, as if it has been brought back to life. According to United Press International website, the video was reportedly filmed on 22 Jan 2016 in Jiangsu Province of China.

The video allegedly showing the revival of a frozen Hardy fish is reportedly shared by a Singapore man Jinbin Huang who posted it on Facebook (now deleted) on 22 Jan 2015. The next day it was shared by Facebook page Fishing and Boat ramp Fails. It went viral with millions of views and shares:

Somewhat Similar Cases

As can be seen in the first YouTube video in this article, a man transports a fish from a bucket of nice fish-friendly water to a container filled with an unspecified liquid, the temperature of which is shown at -35. The seemingly frozen fish is put back into the fish-friendly water where it is shown to retrieve in less than a minute’s time. The second video shows yet another similar case. A small Goldfish appears frozen for a while in Liquid Nitrogen, before it comes back ‘alive’ in its fresh water.

Scientific Explanation

The ‘frozen’ fish coming back to life in water is not any magical or mysterious phenomenon; there are scientific reasons to it. Firstly, as it appears in the current case, the Hardy fish is not frozen to reach the death stage. Seen in the video is not a regular freezer, but an Instant Quick Freezer (IQF).

Most certainly, the trick in this case – the person keeps the fish inside the IQF only for a short interval. Only the surface water and outer layer of the fish are frozen; the internal body of the fish would not be frozen. Because the fish is frozen outside and very cold inside, its metabolic processes would be slowed greatly, making it immobilized. Moreover, some species of cold-water fish like the Hardy fish have evolved. They can survive very cold conditions and swim in the subzero waters. They produce a special Antifreeze Proteins in their blood called AFP. It binds to ice crystals preventing growth (freezing solid) fatal to their body.

It is because of the aforementioned reasons, the seemingly frozen fish in the video appears coming ‘back to life’ in warm water. It’s interesting to note, one week prior to the video was posted, researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Polar Research revived microscopic creatures from a frozen moss sample collected in Antarctica in 1983. Tardigrades, also known as Water Bears or Moss Piglets were retrieved from the sample stored at -20 °C for just over three decades.

Hoax or Fact:

Fact with Some Missing Information.

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Prashanth Damarla