People are paying up to $300,000 for this pet fish
Yachts, jets and mansions are the usual signs of extreme wealth. But for the Asian elite, a rare exotic fish has become a coveted status symbol and all-around obsession.
There is a special kind of fish that draws the line between crazy rich Asians and everybody else.
Meet the Asian arowana (Scleropages formosus), also known as the dragon fish, a species native to the freshwaters of Southeast Asia.
Prized for its glimmering scales and sinuous body, the Asian arowana is one of the world’s most expensive aquatic creatures, with some rumored to fetch up to $300,000, according to Emily Voigt, author of “The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession, and the World’s Most Coveted Fish.”
While not all are priced in the six figures, a young arowana in Singapore could go for $300, while rare adult white albinos could cost $70,000 or more.
As a native of Southeast Asia, the Asian arowana is bred and sold in the region, fetching prices ranging from $300 to $70,000 or more.
Known color breeds include the chili red, which goes for around $1,400, and the emerald violet fusion super red, which sells for about $12,000.
However, the fish cannot be brought to the US, where it is protected by the Endangered Species Act.
Few years back, a California man was busted after smuggling eight from Indonesia, keeping them in bags of water hidden in porcelain pots to avoid detection during shipping.
In Chinese, the creature is known as lóng yú, the dragon fish, for its sinuous body plated with large scales as round and shiny as coins.
At maturity, the primitive predator reaches the length of a samurai sword, about two to three feet, and can be red, gold or green. A pair of whiskers juts from its chin, and its back half ripples like the paper dragons in a Chinese New Year parade.
This resemblance has spawned the belief that the fish brings good luck and prosperity — that it will even commit suicide by vaulting from its tank, sacrificing its life to save its owner.