Weird creature of the month – May

The Blobfish is a deep sea fish which inhabits the deep waters off the coasts of mainland Australia and Tasmania, as well as the waters of New Zealand. In 2013 it was voted the Worlds Ugliest Animal. Blobfish live at depths between 600 and 1,200 meters.

They are near extinction however, are not easy to obtain and will die if the water pressure is too low. They live on the sea floor, which is eighty times denser than the water at sea level. Just getting down there is difficult for fish. Track up “Blobfish” on Google, and you will find very few pictures of a blobfish alive swimming in the sea.

The head of a Blobfish weighs a surprising 1/3 of its total body weight. The rest of the body descends into a short tail. Instead, the flesh of the blobfish is primarily a gelatinous mass with a density slightly less than water; this allows the fish to float above the sea floor without expending energy on swimming.

The reason Blobfish survive at such a low sea level is due to the gelatinous like flesh it has, which is just a little lighter than water. It helps it float and reduces the pressure on the Blobfish’ body. Since they don’t have any muscles, the flesh also helps them to move around. At the bottom of a sea, the Blobfish basically remains stationary throughout its life.

They rarely move unless food is found nearby, otherwise they will wait for prey to come close. Studies show the Blobfish diet consists mainly of urchins, molluscs, crabs, lobsters, and other slow-moving ocean bottom feeders. When something edible comes by, the Blobfish waits for it to come close. Even though Blobfish literally have to muscle, they are still able to open and close their mouth. It is currently unknown of how much they eat in an amount of time. A Blobfish barely moves at all when feeding. Where prey is scarce, some Blobfish will die simply of starvation.

They are now considered endangered because so many are accidentally caught in nets and die at a certain depth. They are also inedible by humans. There hasn’t been a record of one in approximately 5 years, so scientists aren’t sure of an accurate estimate of the species remaining.

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