The dense protective layer of scales covering the body of the common carp makes the fish a pain to eat. But centuries ago, clever European monks managed to breed this quality out, creating a cultivated variety with few to no scales. They called it the mirror carp due to its smooth sides. In 1912, mirror carp were brought to Madagascar for fish farming. With no native carp varieties to compete with, the mirror carp spread, living in the wild across the island.