The world is full of creatures all more amazing than the others. Some are fascinatingly beautiful, others less. The blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) for example has been voted the ugliest animal in the world, and it’s not for nothing. However, this strange rare and unknown fish is not so bad when it is not out of its environment …
Here are 5 surprising things to know about this being disconcertingly physical!
1.It does not look like a pile of mud in the abyss.
Blobfish live deep in the ocean, 600 to 1200 meters below the surface, off the coast of Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania. Thus, as you can imagine, it is not often observed in its natural environment…
However, scientists have discovered that the body of blobfish, which looks like a shapeless pile of mud when it is brought to the surface, actually has a different form in the abyss. Indeed, the latter is designed to withstand the pressure exerted in such depths, a force 120 times higher than that it would suffer on land. So, the body of the blobfish does not have a lot of bones or muscles. But in the abyss, he looks like a real fish. On the other hand, if it is raised to the surface, the pressure on its body diminishes, giving it this gelatinous appearance.
2. He is not very active.
Since food is scarce at the bottom of the ocean, blobfish have evolved to conserve energy. Thus, he spends most of his time motionless at the bottom of the sea.
The only times it moves are to open the mouth and suck prey when a mollusk or crustacean has the misfortune to go through it. This low dynamic hunting technique is perfect for this fish. Indeed, not only does he have no teeth but it also prevents him from swimming.
3. He has a big head because it helps him to float.
Blobfish is famous for its massive head and “snout” that looks like a big nose. These non-standard proportions help him float in the depths of the ocean, saving him from wasting energy while swimming.
Similarly, the fact that his body, which is 30 to 40 cm long, is less dense than water allows it to float effortlessly.
4. He sees in the dark
Given its habitat, it seems logical that the blobfish can see in the dark. Indeed, at such depths, no more light passes and darkness is the most total!
5. He lays a lot
Even though practically nothing is known about the habits of blobfish, it seems that females lay a large number of eggs. Sometimes up to 100,000! But, despite this abundant production, only 1 to 2% of these tiny pink eggs reach adulthood.
However, the eggs are “brooded” by the male and the female in turn. The goal? Protect them from predators. Indeed, given the absence of plants or cavities in which to lay, females lay directly on the ocean floor.