Have You Seen the Freaky Blobfish Yet?

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The blobfish, Psychrolutes macricus, from Australia
Photo: S. Humphreys, Australian Museum, http:www/www.amonline.net.au/wild_kids/


From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Associaton: This is one of the funniest fish faces in the ocean, although you’re not likely to see a blobfish since they live in very deep water off Australia. In fact, it’s pretty rare for anyone to see blobfish, although they’re sometimes taken in nets hauled in by Australia’s deepwater fishing fleet.

They really do look like a big, blobby tadpole, just a mass of pale, jelly-like flesh with puffy, loose skin, a big nose, and beady, staring eyes. But looking like a floppy water balloon is what actually helps the blobfish make a living. This guy just sort of floats above the sea floor so it doesn’t have to spend a lot of energy swimming around, sort of like when you float in the water wearing a life jacket.

Blobfish seem to grow only to about 12 inches, about as long as a comic book. No one has seen them feed, but scientists think blobfish probably just open that big mouth and let little particles drift in—this is not a critter built to chase down its food.

Above left photo: Violater3