CHINA - Over 10,000 goldfish dazzled judges with their shiny scales and delicate fins in a unique goldfish beauty pageant on Friday in Fuzhou, the capital city of east China's Fujian Province.

Beauties of every size, shape and color charmed attendees and judges not just by their physical qualities, but also by their powerful yet graceful swimming gestures.

In the goldfish beauty pageant, judges divided the "contestants" into 26 groups based on the breed and elected gold, silver, and bronze prizes from each group.

"In terms of the criteria, our contest this time has several standards. First, is breed, all the contestants should meet the characteristics of the original breed; Second, it's the way they swim. The goldfish in the fish tank not only presents static beauty, but also a dynamic beauty. They are swimming," said He Wei, judge of the goldfish beauty pageant.

According to the expert, the goldfish contestants are a result of breed improvement and years of careful cultivation. Moreover, the final contestants are quite expensive, some of which are worth more than 10,000 yuan (around 1,475 U.S. dollars).

The local goldfish in Fuzhou are usually exported to overseas countries such as Japan and Singapore because of its beautiful appearance.

One rare goldfish species known as the "panda butterfly tail" really captured the eyes of the attendees and judges.

"The 'panda butterfly tail' itself is very difficult for breeding. It is difficult to breed such species, and it is also difficult to maintain the stability of the black and white colors. And the color distribution, like this fish, should be several color blocks not dots. Fish with dots cannot be called 'panda'," the judge added.

Originated from China, goldfish is the world's earliest breed of ornamental fish. About 300 years ago, Chinese goldfish was brought to southeast Asia and Europe through the Maritime Silk Road.