18 Grisly Facts About The Blobfish

They are considered to be some of the ugliest creatures in the ocean, and you’ll surely soon understand why.

In this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of facts about the blobfish.

1. It the blobfish scary or just ugly?

The blobfish is one of the most peculiar creatures swimming around in the ocean. It has a body mass that is just slightly higher than water, which gives them a gelatine-type look.

This fish isn’t blessed with the best looks, and therefore, they are added to our list of scary animals in the ocean, which also includes monsters such as the viperfish, the goblin shark, and the Japanese spider crab.

We might as well create a list of ugly animals, and we’re pretty sure we would include the blobfish into this one as well!

2. There was actually a competition for ugly animals and it won

Once upon a time, a biologist came up with the idea to create a society to preserve the ugliest animals on the planet. To raise some money for their cause, they organize comedy nights.

What a great idea!

Each city where the comedy nights are held has its very own mascot.

  • London – The proboscis monkey.
  • Cambridge – Forms of endangered sea slug.
  • Bristol and Cheltenham – The three-toed sloth.
  • Winchester – The Titicaca water frog.
  • Brighton – The naked mole-rat.
  • Newcastle – The dugong.

All these animals are real “winners” when it comes to appearance. One of the most interesting facts about the blobfish is that when it came to picking a winner to represent the entire organization as a mascot, it was picked as the winner!

There’s no reason to ask why, is there?

3. They have another name as well

The scientific name of the blobfish species is “Psychrolutes marcidus,” but that’s not all the names given to this fish.

Other popular names to define this remarkable creature are the “smooth-head blobfish,” the “Australian sculpin,” and the “toadfish.”

facts about the blobfish
3 blobfish. / Wiki Commons

4. It lives in the depths of the ocean

If you ever fear coming across one of these ugly fellows, then you don’t have to worry. Blobfish never come to the surface of the ocean.

In fact, they live at depths of between 600 and 1,200 meters (2,000 – 3,900 ft), which isn’t a recommended depth for human beings to hang out.

5. Here’s where they live

The blobfish has only been found in one area of the world, which is just off the coasts of mainland Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand.

6. They have about 40 family members

The blobfish is part of the family referred to as Psychrolutidae, which has about 40 different species in 9 genera.

The name of this family is derived from the Greek word “psychrolouteo,” which means “to have a cold bath.”

All of these family members share similar characteristics, which are having a large head and body and a small tail. The skin is very thin and can easily be removed and their body mass consists of a gelatinous substance.

They’re truly a happy family of odd creatures!

blob sculpin
The Blob Sculpin, a family member of the blobfish. / Wiki Commons

7. The blobfish is rather small

This animal isn’t a huge monster, it’s actually a pretty small type of fish. Most species are actually shorter than 30 centimeters (12 in).

8. They have a completely different appearance in the ocean

While the blobfish doesn’t look particularly attractive after it’s being accidentally caught by fishermen, their appearance in their natural habitat isn’t the same.

In fact, they look rather scary in the depths of the ocean!

blobfish natural habitat
Blobfish in the ocean / Rachel Caauwe / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

9. This is why they transform out of the water

Living in the deep ocean means that these creatures have to deal with a lot more pressure. In fact, where they live, the pressure is between 60 and 120 times higher than on the ocean surface.

When they are brought to the ocean surface, they suffer from a massive decompressing effect, which gives these unfortunate creatures their peculiar look out of the water.

blobfish out of the water
Blobfish out of the water. / Source

10. They have no muscles

Blobfish aren’t blessed with solid muscles, but then again, why would they need to have these in the first place?

One of the weirdest facts about the blobfish is that their low muscle mass doesn’t allow them to do much activity at all! Their entire life consists of floating around the depths of the ocean and now and then, open their mouth to eat.

Obviously, while they are basically doing nothing all day long, they try to conserve as much energy as possible as well.

What a life!

11. They don’t hunt for food

So what does the blobfish eat?

The answer is pretty simple: anything that floats just in front of them!

Their usual diet consists of other organisms that float around the ocean floor such as deep-sea crabs, mollusks, and sea urchins.

12. Blobfish don’t have teeth

They don’t have muscles, and they don’t have a single bone in their body as well. This also means that they don’t have any teeth!

Whatever they try to eat, they simply swallow it as a whole because they don’t have any teeth to chew their food.

13. One man tried to eat a blobfish

When a blobfish was accidentally caught and found its way to the Sydney fish market, an employee of the market had to try how it tastes like.

And it remarkably tasted good!

According to Alex Stollznow, it “tasted like butter-poached lobster tail, and the flesh was rich and sweet.”

One caveat: He apparently used a blowtorch to prepare his delicious meal!

14. We don’t know a thing about the blobfish

So how does the blobfish reproduce? How long do they live? How many of them are out there?

Because of the harsh conditions these creatures live in, it’s virtually impossible to closely study them.

What we do know is that they are frequently caught as bycatch in bottom nets. And that’s about the only way we can know they are still out there.

blobfish on the ocean floor
Another type of Blobfish on the ocean floor / Lorenauy / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

15. They don’t have swim bladders

Most fish have a part in their body that contains air called a “swim bladder.” This allows them to navigate through the water and stay buoyant.

This feature is also sometimes referred to as a “gas bladder,” or “fish maw,” and without it, most fish would literally sink to the bottom.

The body of the blobfish doesn’t contain such a swim bladder and they simply rely on their gelatinous flesh to float around in the ocean.

16. Is the blobfish endangered?

One of the most interesting facts about the blobfish is that human beings can’t disturb their habitat.

For all we know, they could have been floating around in the depths of the ocean for millions of years, and they can do the same for millions of years more.

The barrier to reaching them is in fact their benefit, and apart from the occasional unlucky fellow that gets entangled in a fishing net, there is very little danger from human beings and their habitat serves as a form of protection.

In other words, it’s very unlikely that they are endangered!

17. How about their family members?

If we take a look at the IUCN red list, of the 6 subspecies that are mentioned there, 4 are listed as “Least Concern,” and 2 are listed as “Data Deficient.”

blobfish subspecies

18. The blobfish inspired this comic book

The blobfish has been very popular ever since it was chosen as the ugliest animal in the world. That being said, it also increased its popularity!

The blobfish is even the main character of an amazing comic book called “Blobbynfriends.”

Leave a Comment