Research Shows Goldfish Are Smarter Than You Think

When most people think about goldfish, they think about a fish that is swimming around in a small bowl of water and doesn’t have much else to do.

Although that is true when you get a goldfish from a carnival or bring one home from another event, that doesn’t necessarily mean that is all they are capable of doing.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

As a matter of fact, researchers have been using goldfish for many years because they have fantastic memories and tend to be smarter than other fish that you might find in the water.

This was seen in a rather interesting way, thanks to Oxford University. They wanted to see if goldfish could measure distances, so they put some goldfish to the test.

According to Live Science, in order to determine how good a goldfish was at measuring distances, they put some black and white stripes on the side of a tank. They would then let the goldfish swim away and at a specific distance, they would put their hand in the water and give the goldfish a treat.

Photo: Pexels/imsogabriel Stock

In the end, eight out of nine goldfish were able to remember how far to swim in order to get the treat on the second time they went down the tank.

According to Live Science, an expert in fish cognition, Culum Brown, said they’ve known that goldfish had reasonably good memories since the 50s or 60s. He went on to say: “Despite what everybody thinks, they’re actually really intelligent.”

He also said that regardless of where you are in the world, goldfish are going to be relatively smart. They may differ in the amount of time it takes them to learn but their intelligence level is always going to be high.

Photo: flickr/C Watts

Some of the other things that goldfish are capable of doing include navigating mazes, and completing tasks associated with stimuli, such as music or bubbles. Even after months have passed, goldfish are still capable of doing these things.

Perhaps goldfish have gotten a bad rap along the way but with a little bit of knowledge and by teaching others, we can give goldfish the recognition they deserve.

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