Blobfish Habitat: deep waters off the coasts of mainland Australia, Tasmania, & New Zealand
Blobfish Status: Endangered
Poor, poor blobfish. Voted the world’s ugliest animal back in 2013, this deep sea creature has since risen to iconic fame… though, not in the way that it had probably hoped. It’s now the mascot for the Ugly Animal Preservation Society; an organization dedicated”to raising the profile of some of Mother Nature’s more aesthetically challenged children.”
Blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) live at depths of 2,000 to 4,000 feet (600 to 1,200 meters), bobbing along the bottom of the ocean. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA), says blobfish “look like a big, blobby tadpole, just a mass of pale, jelly-like flesh with puffy, loose skin, a big nose and beady, staring eyes.” Their gelatinous forms only surface as by-catch because unfortunately, while the blobfish are not edible, their other deep sea friends like lobsters and crabs are. Because of this, the blobfish is listed as endangered and measures are needed to protect our blobby buddy.
Here are some interesting blobfish facts that you might not know:
- Unlike most sea creatures, the blobfish lacks a gas bladder which maintains buoyancy. Because its body gelatinous and low density, it is able to float in water, which has a higher density. The near-absence of a skeleton and the jelly-like body is the only way to sustain under the tremendous pressure of the deep sea so as to not be crushed!
- Blobfish lack very many muscles. This means that they typically don’t do much moving while stationed on the bottom of the ocean.
- Blobfish aren’t exactly “tigers of the deep.” They don’t actively hunt. They will sit with their mouths open and wait for anything to pass by. When something does, the blobfish sucks the unlucky victim down into its bulky belly. Mainly they feed on small crustaceans.
- It’s important to note that the gooply features of the blobfish only come out when it is removed from its environment. When it’s constricted under extreme pressure, as it is naturally, it looks much like a normal fish!
Oh, and is it just me or does anyone else think this guy looks like Danny DeVito when you add glasses?
Sorry, just had to throw that out there. If you’re like me and totally obsessed with these delightful blobs of cuteness… you can get one 3D printed that can sit on your desk and stare at you all day from Shapeways!
This will be going right next to my tardigrade. You betcha!