The blobfish or smooth-head blobfish is known as one of the ugliest fish in the world. Its scientific name is Psychrolutes marcidus and it’s found in the depths of the ocean. Its gelatinous texture gives it a very strange and curious appearance that makes it look horrendous.
It seems as if it were a kind of monster from the depths. In this article you will be able to know all the secrets of this weird creature, from where it lives to its most important curiosities. Do you want to know more about him?
The blobfish has been listed as one of the ugliest fish on the planet. And its peculiar shape makes it look like a deformed, amorphous, and grotesque balloon.
The causes of its appearance can be many; some scientists advocate the high ocean pressures to which it’s subjected and the loss of pressure when it’s removed from its aquatic environment.
The extreme anatomical rarity of the smooth-head blobfish, has caused some people to question its existence.
And it seems to some that it seems like a cartoon or a specimen of a movie of aliens in the style of Man in black or the character of the star wars called Jabba the Hutt and not a real animal.
But the truth is that this horrific fish does exist, roams the depths of the world’s waters and is part of the rarest aquatic animals.
Table Of Content
- 1 Taxonomy 🐠
- 2 Discovery of the Blobfish 🐠
- 3 Characteristics 🐠
- 4 Adaptations to the Marine Environment 🐠
- 5 Where Blobfish Inhabit? 🐠
- 6 Geographical Distribution 🐠
- 7 Blobfish: Feeding Habits 🐠
- 8 How Blobfish Reproduce? 🐠
- 9 Predators and Threats 🐠
- 10 Behavior 🐠
- 11 The Blobfish in Popular Culture 🐠
- 12 The Ugliest fish in the world 🐠
- 13 Curious facts about the Blobfish 🐠
The genealogy of the blobfish allows us to get an idea of the order to which it belongs and, if you can, verify that it’s not an imaginary species.
First of all, it must be clear that not necessarily all species that inhabit the planet have a harmonious aesthetic but can also have a grotesque and morbid appearance and An example of this is this unusual species.
In order to give truth to the existence of this animal, let’s see what is the taxonomic structure of this curious species.
In the first place it’s found within the animal kingdom, that is, the one to which all the organisms of the Eukaryotas domain belong: those that are constituted by a cell nucleus.
Secondly, smooth-head blobfish is part of the chordata ( barrel eyes fish)).
This group of organisms is one that has a well-formed dorsal cord.
Depending on the species it can be a notocordy or what in its most developed formation is known as the spine.
Thirdly, according to the taxonomic classification, smooth-head blobfish is part of a class called actinopterygii, that is, all freshwater and saltwater fish that have a bone system.
In the fourth place of the taxonomy is the order to which the smooth-head blobfish belongs.
This is called as scorpaeniformes that are fish that have spiny formations along their body or in a part of it, for example, that has pointed fins.
In the fifth place we talk about the formation of a family.
In the case of the smooth-head blobfish it’s known as the psychrolutidae because they are those that include the fish with pronounced heads that can have presence of bone system or prominent tissue.
From the family categorization of the Fatheads, from the ugliest fish, both genus and species derive. For the former it’s known as psychrolutes, while the specific name of the species is P. Marcidus. We invite you to read our article lusitanian toadfish to learn more about taxonomy
Discovery of the Blobfish 🐠
The discovery of the blobfish has been a fortuitous event and a great event for the scientific community. Finding species like these in the depths of the ocean suggests that there is still much to discover.
Trawling has been the practice that has allowed knowing this creature.
Although it has a bad reputation and has been banned in some countries, due to its negative impact on the seabed, trawling has also allowed us to know which species live in the deep ocean.
In the year 2013, in the United Kingdom, it was the moment in which the blobfish was most earnestly known when the society in charge of preserving ugly fish protected this species because of its unusual level of rarity: a unique jelly and almost amorphous appearance. This has led them to establish such a creature as the most horrifying fish on the planet.
The blobfish looks quite strange due to the skin it has. It’s as if it were a jelly fish. Its average length is usually between 30 and 38 cm, so it’s considered a large fish. Such a jelly-like skin needs it to survive in environments under such pressure under the sea.
Therefore, when it comes to the blobfish to get to the surface, where there is not as much pressure as in the depths of the sea, all the jelly «falls».
It’s a fish that barely has strength due to its low density. So, the blobfish has had to adapt over the years and evolution to these types of environments where sunlight does not reach and nutrients are scarce.
At first, when there were some passenger sightings, the scientists really doubted their existence since their appearance was really weird..
More than a real fish, it seemed like a hallucination typical of a movie.
As for its morphology, it has a large head that serves to float better in conjunction with its low density and narrow fins.
Its appearance is shaved more when you see the huge nose in the form of a drop of water when it’s falling.
Hence, this fish is also known as a drop fish. Their eyes also have a jellylike texture and look like two black buttons.
Other Interesting Aspects
✔️ The female is believed to be larger than the male. They are colored between light cream and dark beige, depending on whether it’s in the water or the surface.They reach between 30 and 40 centimeters in length, have no muscles and their body is gelatinous and soft bones.
✔️ The Blobfish lacks teeth.
Their density and low body mass, help them to float and stay alive in the deep depths of the oceans. Unlike many other fish, it has no swim bladder just like the goblin fish.
The swim bladder is an organ that many fish have in common and that serves to keep drifting without having to make any effort to stay in the water. So, for having a very low density and gelatin-shaped skin this species does not need this organ to continue living inside the sea.
Let’s meet it
Adaptations to the Marine Environment 🐠
Fish that live in quite large depths have to withstand great water pressures. The blobfish has developed a special skin type that adapts to all the inconveniences in these areas.
Sunlight does not arrive or arrives very slightly, so this terrain is a continuous struggle for survival. The blobfish is able to live in these depths thanks to its skin type and low density.
It’s considered the ugliest fish in the world since the jelly on the surface softens and looks like a deformity, more similar to an extraterrestrial being than a common fish on our planet.
In terms of temperatures, it’s more comfortable in areas around 2 and 9 degrees. We invite you to read our article humpback anglerfish to learn more about the ocean depths
Where Blobfish Inhabit? 🐠
The habitat of the fish blobfish is in the depths of the sea; those to which few person have accessed due to the great pressures that exist there. Its physiological capacity allows it, since it’s able to live in really low temperatures without being affected.
The range of temperature values is between 2.76 centigrade and 9 centigrade, the water is really cold and about to freeze, the scope of which is ideal for this curious species.
. These specimens reach around 600 to 1200 meters of marine depth in which the water pressure doubles considerably.
However, their body is able to penetrate greater distances, that is, they can inhabit even deeper places. Several studies have proven that the blobfish can live and remain on seabed that reaches 1700 meters.
Geographical Distribution 🐠
The area of distribution of the blobfish extends through the deepest waters between the coasts of the mainland of Australia and Tasmania.
In these areas it’s where its abundance is greatest, although it’s very difficult to spot it. He has also been seen swimming through the depths of the waters of New Zealand.
Blobfish: Feeding Habits 🐠
The diet of the Blobfish is varied because they can feed on any type of organism that is around them and especially those that are suspended in the water such as small microorganisms, crustaceans or molluscs that can be found in the bottom from sea. For example: squid, lobster, shrimp, sea urchins among others.
It’s important to know that this fish has no impediment to digest this type of marine animals or organisms even if they do not have teeth since they have a really absorbent and corrosive digestive system that allows them to digest such foods.
It’s possible that this type of animal lacks a regular diet as any other that is immersed in a fairly rich ecosystem can have.
So, those makes these fish really calm and only keep floating in a way to save and conserve, as much as possible, energy consumption. The less they swim; they will be forced to remain still, in standby. The Blobfish fish behaves like goblin sharks, since they are solitary species that live in the depths and remain wintering long periods so as not to die due to lack of food.
Let’s learn about the ocean zones
How Blobfish Reproduce? 🐠
The female is able to lay hundreds of thousands of eggs but, studies show that only a small amount of these reach adulthood. In this species, both the male and the female stay together to take care of their eggs until they hatch.
This behavior is a sign of the intelligence of this rare animal since in the depths of the sea it’s difficult to get hiding places and plants that serve as protection for its small eggs.
Although with years of research it has been possible to discover interesting details about this species, it’s still investigated how ythey get they partner and how long this weird creature lives. .
Predators and Threats 🐠
The blobfish has no known predators in its habitat; perhaps no animal dares to capture it by because of its weird appearance.
However, this striking species is unfortunately in a vulnerable condition and although it’s a rarity of nature, the human being is not interested in it to market it or consume it.
So why its critical situation?
It’s because it is often caught by trawls used to fish at the bottom of the ocean. It’s quite common that by mistake some blobfish gets entangled and although fishermen often return them to the sea, they often die before returning to the waters.
Due to this, thousands of these specimens have disappeared and nowadays few gout fish are obtained. In fact, most specimens that have been photographed are dead ones.
The blobfish is one of the calmest species that exists in the ocean.. They are usually at rest, saving as much energy as possible ..
The shortage of food in their habitat is common, therefore, they prefer to have a passive attitude. However, blobfish love to walk, so it’sn’t weird for them to make movements with their spiny fins to propel and prowl their surroundings.
On the other hand, it should be noted that it’s not a species that is dedicated to hunting as do other fish that are always looking for their food, be they carnivores or herbivores.
On the contrary, they can spend days without eating, until at some point in which they are wandering they accidentally encounter some kind of animal.
The Blobfish in Popular Culture 🐠
Some animals, despite being so rare, are not saved from being caricatured through memes to raise awareness of the type of actions and activities that affect the existence of the species.
Some of the strategies that have given good results to create awareness are: give a more tender appearance to the blobfish fish through the creation of emoticons or stuffed animals alluding to this animal.
Well here we see that this is part of a marketing tactic in which there can be a reversible process in which the ugly just needs some adjustments and become something beautiful or, at least, pleasant.
One of the tools that has exploited the most and visualizes the perception of the blobfish in the world has been the internet with its memes.
But it also happens with film projections, for example in Men in black and in musical reproductions as Michael Hearst does in the following musical composition that we will leave next which is titled as Blobfish.
Here you can see part of the works that worship not only animals, but art itself. This is the musical tribute of Michael Hearst that is contained in a rather particular album: songs for unusual creatures.
Let’s listen it
The Ugliest fish in the world 🐠
The blobfish was chosen as the ugliest animal in the world in a contest organized in Britain.
More than 3000 people participated in an Internet survey to draw attention to less visible and threatened species that play their role in the ecosystem.
The «blobfish,» «won incontestably, earning 795 votes,» said Coralie Young of the British Science Association, which announced the result at an annual festival in Newcastle, in northeast England.
In second place was the kakapo, a bird that does not fly, looks like a mixture of parrot and owl, and lives in New Zealand. In third place was the axolotl, a Mexican amphibian nicknamed «the walking fish».
Other candidates were the monkey proboscis, which has red testicles and a large nose, and the Titicaca frog, also known by the unscientific name of «scrotum frog.»
Some 88,000 people visited the contest page. «It’s a nice way to remind people of the conservation» of animals, Coralie Young explained by phone.
Let’s enjoy this video
Curious facts about the Blobfish 🐠
✔️ One of the curiosities of this species is its morphology. While its outer appearance is not clearly in the form of a drop, then why is this species called in that way?
The answer to this uncertainty is: the pressure exerted by the water on the gelatinous body of the fish.
The pressure in the depth causes its proportions to be reduced. But once it’s free from pressures, it happens that the body expands completely looking more like an amorphous mass.
So the dimensions of the blobfish in its natural habitat may be less than stipulated when it’s outside it.
✔️ Another intriguing aspect is that it’s a species that lacks bone system; therefore, it doesn’t have teeth to chew or bite its food. Thus, the blobfish can’t be considered a risk for the human being if he is in the same environment.
First, because it’s impossible for man to withstand the pressure at sea depth. Secondly, if a human being reaches such depths, he or she would undoubtedly undergo a reduction of the body as it happens with this very weird creature
Moreover, the blobfish doesn’t survive out of the water. Once it has reached the surface, it becomes a kind of bubble.
If, likewise, the low water pressure causes the fish to suffer a total deformation. So that makes it impossible to observe his body firmly condensed as the species has it in the depths of the sea.
So it’s impossible to really see its original appearance in circumstances beyond which the species is habituated. And on this fact a final consideration is added, the possibility of eating a slice of this creature.
Other interesting Facts about the Blobfish 🐠
The response to this crazy and culinary alternative is disrupted at the same time that the fish are removed from the aquatic environment, as they widen and become an aqueous mass.
The drop fish has attracted worldwide attention, so much so that it has become a species worthy of conservation for the curious. So much so that in the museum of Australia, there is a specimen in a state of conservation.
Of course, the fish is dead, since it’s impossible for it to stay alive out of the water. For they almost always die at the moment that the trawler nets have captured them.
Finding a blobfish swimming is extremely difficult because its habitat is deep in the ocean where no one can easily reach.
Let’s enjoy this very weird creature one more time