Marine, lake, and river environments are filled with life, and among the dense vegetation, singular creatures often hide. Our knowledge of the biodiversity typical of these underwater worlds is enriched every year by new discoveries that are so astonishing that they always arouse researchers’ amazement.
Within the ecosystems, which can be divided into three major biotic groups (Plankton, Nekton and Benthos), there are many unusual animals, among which fish certainly stand out. In this article, we will discover the 7 most bizarre fish around the world. We will also see in which waters it is possible to see them.
The jawfish inhabit the bottom of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Opistognatids, the family of fish of which the jawfish is a part, tend to hide in underwater ravines to dodge predators’ attacks. However, the jawfish is a true master of disguise. Its bright yellow and black stripes are positioned on mimetic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus), imitating the tentacles’ shape and color impeccably.
The jawfish is also a perfect father, so much so that it hatches eggs for long periods inside its imposing jaw. Inside this place, the jawfish provides a stable climate and safe shelter for its offspring, protecting the unborn children from danger.
2. Monocirrhus Polyacanthus
It looks like a dry leaf, but it is not: the Monocirrhus Polyacanthus is a very voracious predator, challenging to raise, and capricious in terms of nutrition. Despite its small size (more or less 8 cm), this fish-eating creature that populates the Amazon River is an excellent hunter.
Thanks to its physical appearance, it can stay close to its prey without alarming it. It then manages to capture and suck them in with a very fast shot, preventing any possibility of escape.
Among the most bizarre fishes, we cannot fail to mention the pufferfish, a curious inhabitant of tropical seas. Its appearance is so funny that we see it as the protagonist of historical and timeless video games, such as Super Mario.
If we observe it carefully, the pufferfish seems puffy and covered with prickles; in the presence of danger, it collects air, inflating itself impressively and rising to the surface. This defense technique, which prevents it from swimming, is very effective because it exposes possible predators to contact with a neurotoxin present on the skin. This toxin can be lethal, to the point that in Japan, where the pufferfish is a delicious food, only specialized chefs can handle its meat without compromising the edible part.
4. Black Devil
The black devil, or Melanocetus, is a very disturbing looking fish. The chromatic order and the body’s rounded shape are specific features of this fish that live in tropical waters.
The females and males of this species are distinguished by bizarre characteristics: while the former have a frontal antenna and are softer to the touch, the latter have pointed teeth.
A very distinctive feature is the appearance of the Anoplogaster, a very versatile fish that inhabits cold and warm waters. If we observe it carefully, we can see an imposing jaw and a slightly thinner body, with a generally triangular shape.
Its jaws, strong and powerful, never close completely, which gives it a frightening image. But don’t worry: it is less than 20 cm long and feeds exclusively on plankton and small fish.
The blobfish is a well-known fish on the web, where it is often used as a base for memes. This strange animal, which has been called the “ugliest fish in the world”, lives in Australian waters and has a gelatinous consistency.
This weird fish has no muscles or swim bladder, it does not perform complex movements to move around, but it is rare to observe it in its natural habitat because it is difficult to access.
Have you ever seen another type of strange fish? Remember to share its name and your experience with it in the comments below.