No, The BlobFish Isn't A Strange/Weird/Ugly/Whatever Looking Animal!
So, today's post is not about yet another weird looking animal. Instead, it's all about debunking something I am really tired of seeing again and again.
If you go online and search for weird or ugly looking animals you will come up with all of shorts of top-xx animal lists. Some are quite ingenious, others boring and so forth and so on. But 90 % of them have something in common. One of their top featured creatures always seems to be this one:
Scientifically described as Psychrolutes marcidus, this ugly looking ball of slime is a Blobfish. It's so ugly that it in September 2013 it was actually voted as the "World's Ugliest Animal", and was adopted as the official mascot of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society! But the thing is that..
It's Not That Ugly Dammit!
The reality is that the blobfish does look short of ugly. But it looks nothing like all these ridiculous top-XX weird lists would have you believe. Here's an artistic impression of what to expect if you ever encounter one:
And here's another one:
Not that weird or ugly looking now, don't ya think? The funny thing is that some sites briefly mention that the photo is taken from a specimen brought to the surface, hinting that it might not be really representative of the species, but usually stop at that point giving no further explanation.. My guess is because a realistic photo isn't click-bait material ;)
So that slimy ball isn't a blobfish?
Oh, yes it is! A heavily deformed one! The bulbous and gelatinous appearance is the result of taking the creature out of its natural habitat which is 600 to 1,200 meters deep and bringing it to the surface. In case you don't know it, decompression can be a real bitch!
It's like taking a human body, put it 1.000 meters below the sea level, leave it there for a week to rot and get crushed by the high pressure and then place it on a list "of the world's ugliest humans" or something! Ridiculous..
So this is pretty much it for the "world's ugliest animal" and the myth behind. Let me close this post with some interesting facts for those of you who might want to learn more about the creature!
Some Quick & Interesting Facts About The Blobfish
- The species was discovered in 2012
- It inhabits the coasts of mainland Australia, from southern Queensland to southern Australia and Western Australia and Tasmania, as well as the waters of New Zealand
- Adults reach a maximum length of about 30 cm
- The animal is mainly "made" out of a gelatinous mass with a density slightly less than water. This helps the creature stay float without expending much energy and it's also why it gets so heavily deformed when taken out of the water.
- The species is possibly threatened due to being a common bycatch by bottom trawling nets.
- Due to its deep sea nature, studying the creature is difficult and we know very little about it, like what it eats, how it reproduces etc
References & Further Reading
My dear readers, thank you for reading today's article. Hopefully, you found it interesting enough to follow me, @trumpman. You may also want to check my strange animal series where you get to discover some of the world's weirdest animals! Here are the last 3 weirdos of the series:
- Meet the Platypus a Very Strange Mammal That Lays Eggs!
- Notaden bennettii: The Super Cute Holy Cross Frog
- Scientists Baffled by Weird Jelly Blob. Find Out How You Can Help Them!
A big thanks goes to all my fellow greeks who support me with their love! You guys rock! A special mention also goes to @rouketas and @skapaneas for bringing us all together and @ruth-girl for making me the avatar below!