Meet The Blobfish

Image from Stunning Interesting Facts

Image from Stunning Interesting Facts

Being voted the “World’s Ugliest Animal” during 2013, it should not come as a surprise that the Blobfish had claimed such an impressive title. Its signature “sad faced” look is a result of its low density flesh which deforms when the fish is taken out of water. Swimming deep in the waters off the coast of Australia and Tasmania, and only measuring thirty centimeters or less, this deep sea fish can live in depths as low as 3,900 feet where the pressure is around seven times higher compared to pressure levels at sea level. This heightened amount of pressure is fatal to humans. Even the most modern, well built submarines that can carry passengers is only able to go 1000 ft below sea level. The Blobfish’s flesh does not only offer an advantage of energy efficient movement over the bottom of the sea without using too much energy, but its also useful for reducing the amount of pressure being applied to its body. Its flesh is primarily a gelatinous mass that lacks any muscle, but this trait does not leave the Blobfish with any disadvantages since its diet mainly consists of edible matter that floats in the ocean, such as crustaceans, sea urchins, and mollusks. Literally hovering over the bottom of the ocean, all the Blobfish needs to do is ‘shimmy’ around with its mouth wide open, awaiting for its next meal.

Laying thousands of eggs at once, this fish differs from others since unlike most fish species, the Blobfish stays with her eggs, occasionally even found sitting on them. Usually floating over them, sometimes surrounded by other ‘mother’ Blobfishes, scientists aren’t sure if this behavior is considered a strategic tactic to protect their eggs or if its just too ‘lazy’ to move to another place. All in all, its important for this species to continue reproducing since its numbers are dangerously dwindling.

Imagine having one third of your weight inside of your head. Well this is how the Blobfish is, keep in mind its scientific family Psychrolutidae which stands for “Fatheads”. Holding a pyramid like structure with a relatively small body and tail, its human-esque frowning face is what catches people off guard. When looked at “face”-to-face, it appears to have a complete set of facial features including a wide flap of skin that folds over just above its lips; presenting itself as a nose. Often being compared to the character Squidward from the popular children’s show SpongebBob SquarePants, and outdoing eleven other ‘aesthetically-challenged’ critters, it definitely has every reason to ‘smile’. Its grumpy look has attracted tons of online attention and discussions. Appearing on memes and even having its very own song, made by Michael Hearst for his 2012 album called Songs For Unusual Creatures, the marine creature should have nothing to pout about, but unfortunately, its species is being threatened by fishers.

This unique fish is considered to be an extremely rare organism, yet it is still nearing becoming an endangered species due to deep-sea ocean trawling that often catches this type of fish by accident. In the year 2006 conservationists almost cast a global wide restriction on deep-sea trawling, but ultimately rejected after Iceland refused the proposal. With over-fishing affecting many other species, this particular loss could mean losing the world’s most unattractive animal.


This entry was written by Cathrina T. and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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