Imagine someone voted you the ugliest person at work. You would be upset, right? Well, it’s a very good thing the blobfish (Psychrolutes microporos).
What is a blobfish?
It’s the internet’s favourite fish, a charmer from the deep with a face that only Mother Earth could love. Yet the blobfish – a fat, lazy bottom-feeder that’s relatively new to science – has somehow cast a spell over human beings, who have made memes, soft toys and emojis inspired by it.
Blobfish look almost unrecognizable underwater: These tadpole-shaped fish have bulbous heads, large jaws, tapered tails, and feathery pectoral fins. Rather than scales, they have loose, flabby skin. They don’t have strong bones or thick muscle—instead, they rely on the water pressure to hold their shape together. That’s why blobfish collapse into a squishy mush when they are pulled up to the surface.
Because they live at such incredible depths, these fascinating fish are hard to study in their natural environment. Much of what scientists have learned about them comes from dead blobfish pulled up to the surface—hence why their above-water form is more widely recognized.
Blobfish species live in some of the deepest pockets of the ocean, at depths between 600 and 1,200m. So, why is the blobfish so … blobby? Well, it’s actually a very clever adaptation: At the extreme deep-sea depths the blobfish calls its natural environment, they go about their business experiencing about 120 times the pressure we do on dry land.
Because of this, they don’t grow longer than around 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) and have only enough muscle to allow them to swim in short bursts and not much bone to give their bodies form. The bones of this deep water fish are extremely thin and fragile compared to fishes that hang out near the surface because it takes a lot of energy to build bone.
What does a blobfish look like underwater?
At depth, a blobfish kind of just looks like a fish. They have slightly bulbous heads, pronounced black eyes and feathery pectoral fins. Their bodies, pinkish-grey in colour, taper to the tail a bit like a tadpole.
What do blobfish eat?
These shoes are also special in that they do not possess any muscle tissue. They live in places with little food, so blobfish have a somewhat idle way of hunting. Blobfish hover in the water, waiting for the fish to stagger past (usually crabs, sea urchins, shellfish…) and then snap the whole prey. According to scientists, this method of hunting helps them maximize energy savings.
Researchers believe that blobfish reproduce in groups, laying large clutches of around 100,000 eggs in each nest, perhaps to increase the offspring’s chances of survival. The devoted parent stays close to the nest, tending the eggs while they develop.
Where do blobfish live?
The Psychrolutidae family is fairly widespread with species found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. However, some species of blobfish – including the one nicknamed Mr Blobby – are found in fairly small territories.
In the video below, you can see What’s Inside A Blobfish | What’s Inside? Thank you for visiting our website! We hope you found something that sparked interest on our website
Video resource : Science Insider