A rare fish weighing 300 pounds has been sold for more than its weight in gold in China, where it is believed to have special health benefits for humans.

The Bahaba fish, which is thought to have been more than 50 years old, is from a critically endangered species. Caught in the South China Sea earlier this month, the fish measured five feet long and one and a half feet wide.

A fishing company in the city of Yueqing in Zhejiang province bought the fish for a record price of $505,307.

According to Chinese traditional medicine, the Bahaba fish’s swim bladders give special powers to those who consume it. The species, found only in China, Hong Kong and Macau, is thought to be so rare that this fish may be one of the last to ever be caught before the Bahaba are extinct.

In April 2008, three Hong Kong fishermen sold a 180-pound Bahaba fish they had caught for $2,500, not realising its true value. It was later resold to a buyer in mainland China for $125,000. It was thought to have been the largest Bahaba caught in Hong Kong for a decade.

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Bill Lehane
Bill Lehane, 28, is a journalist and freelance writer from Dublin, Ireland. He recently returned from six months working as a teacher in east China, which gave him a chance to experience many of the wide, weird and wacky sights that make up daily life in the Middle Kingdom. However, he did not succeed in teaching the local teenagers anything whatsoever: they still love Michael Jackson, KFC and themselves. More at billlehane.com.
Bill Lehane

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