RIP, Laura Dern’s 14-Year-Old Goldfish

Good night, sweet prince. Photo: @lauradern/Instagram

Goldfish, generally speaking, are not known for their hardiness, as you will be aware if you ever won one at a carnival and watched it immediately eviscerate like ten consecutive tank mates via some sort of horribly contagious scale rot. But apparently, when they receive very attentive care (and possibly also the assorted perks of being celebrity pets), goldfish can live roughly as long as house cats. Laura Dern’s goldfish, for example, just passed away after 14 years. Doubtless you are saddened to hear this news, but please keep in mind the goldfish had an unusually long — and probably also especially good — life.

The widely beloved Oscar winner, who has really seemed to be enjoying a boom year until now, posted a photo of her dearly departed fish friend to Instagram on Tuesday. In it, the small swimmer (whose name the actor did not disclose) can be seen, shimmering and white, lurking behind a large biscuit sitting just beyond the confines of its tank. “RIP to our amazing goldfish we loved so much,” Dern wrote. “14 YEARS!!!!!!!!”

The caps-lock is clearly warranted, because the average lifespan for a goldfish in captivity comes in somewhere between five and ten years. In the wild, a goldfish might live as long as 25 years, while the oldest-known goldfish ever to have haunted our ponds died at a ripe old 43. Which is not to detract from the Dernfish’s achievement, just to say that goldfish can be surprisingly resilient, and who knew?

Anyway, in conclusion, here is a nice thing Laura Dern has said about fish, paraphrasing her friend David Lynch: “Ideas are like fish — if you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve gotta go deeper. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure, they’re huge and abstract, and very beautiful.”

Which is how we will remember the Dernfish: very pure and very beautiful. Good night, sweet prince.

RIP, Laura Dern’s 14-Year-Old Goldfish