By Chuck Woodbury
I do not normally write about fish except maybe to do a little bragging when I catch a big trout. But, sad to say, that doesn’t happen often these days.
But I cannot resist telling you about the ugliest fish in the world. As you can see above, it is hideously unattractive. It’s called a Blobfish, which seems very appropriate. The Blobfish has actually won “ugliest animal” contests.
The fish on the bottom half of the photo looks a lot like a guy I used to know named Fred — same mouth and nose. I know that’s not relevant except to me because the resemblance is stunning. Fred used to sing in piano bars and he would pick up girls. I never understood.
It’s unfair that these fellows are labeled ugly, because they are not really ugly until they are brought to the surface from the depths of the ocean, dead. Down below they look like a normal fish. Because they are basically gelatin with little-to-no bone or muscle, when you remove them from the pressure of the deep sea they lose all their body shape.
THE FISH MOSTLY REMAIN close to the sea floor anywhere from 2,000 ft. to 3,900 ft. deep. This depth is called the mesopelagic zone, in case that means anything to you (not to me). The pressure at that depth is approximately 80 times that of the surface.
The only time Blobfish interact with humans is when they are accidentally captured in commercial fishing nets, which isn’t very often. If you saw a Blobfish when it was pulled to the surface you might think you were observing an alien from another planet.
I have never heard of anyone eating a Blobfish. And, sad to say, you cannot see a Blobfish in a professional aquarium because it’s too hard to replicate the incredible pressure where they live.
Interestingly, the Blobfish is a movie star. It was featured in the movie Men in Black 3. A prop version of the fish was seen sitting on the work surface of a Chinese restaurant next to a few other alien-looking creatures.