London- Unlike most vertebrates which die within a few minutes without oxygen, goldfish is able to survive for months in oxygen-free water.
Scientists have recently figured out how goldfish produce alcohol to survive when trapped beneath the icy surfaces of frozen lakes and ponds.
According to Sky News, the fish convert their anaerobically produced lactic acid into ethanol which diffuses across their gills into the surrounding water. The researchers from the Universities of Oslo and Liverpool have discovered the unusual molecular mechanism behind this unique ability.
Dr. Michael Berenbrink, an evolutionary physiologist at the University of Liverpool explained that that the blood alcohol concentration in these fish can exceed the drink-drive limit in the iced water, and can sometimes reach more than 50mg per 100 milliliters.
Researcher Cathrine Elisabeth Fagernes, from the University of Oslo, said this ability allows the goldfish to be the only fish species surviving and exploiting these harsh environments. She added that it also allows it to escape predation by other fish species with which they normally interact in better oxygenated waters.