Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The blobfish is one of the strangest and ugliest animals in the world. It is a fish that lives in the deep ocean, and it has a body that is mostly made up of jelly. The blobfish has no scales or fins, and it looks like a big, slimy ball. Some people have even called it the "world's ugliest animal." But despite its appearance, the blobfish is actually quite interesting! In this blog post, we will learn more about this strange creature.
Description and Appearance
The Blobfish is a deep-sea fish that lives in the depths of the ocean, at depths between 600 and 1,200m. The blobfish doesn't have any muscles, so it can't swim. Instead, it floats around in the water and uses its long, floppy body to grab onto food. The blobfish eats things like crabs, shrimp, and other small animals that live on the ocean floor.
Because the blobfish doesn't have any bones, it is very fragile. If a blobfish is brought to the surface of the water, it will often die. Down there, the pressure is incredibly high. So much so that fish have had to adapt their bodies to survive such conditions- think squishy with soft bones and not a lot of muscle.
The big nose on a blobfish is caused by it being brought to the surface too quickly, where decompression makes it expand and its skin relaxes, distorting its features. Its gelatinous tissue doesn't hold structure well either, so on land or the deck of a boat, it collapses into a shapeless mass like a jellyfish that's been washed up on shore.
If we shoved a human being to a depth of 1,200m without any safety gear or means of breathing, they would look just as bad as the fish would.
The blobfish feeds on animals that live on the seabed, such as crabs, shrimp, and other small fish. Because it doesn't have any teeth, it swallows its prey whole.
Blobfish are not very active creatures. They just float around in the water and wait for something to swim by so they can grab it. This makes them easy prey for other predators, such as seals, seagulls, and larger fish.
Blobfish reproduce by laying eggs. The female blobfish will lay hundreds of eggs at a time, and then the male blobfish will fertilize them. The eggs will hatch after about a month, and the young blobfish will look like miniature adults.
As they grow older, blobfish will slowly change in appearance. They will lose their teeth, and their bodies will become more jelly-like. By the time they reach adulthood, they will look like big blobs of jelly!
Habitat and Distribution
Blobfish live in the deep ocean, at depths of 600 to 1200m. They are found all over the world, but they are most common in the waters of Australia and Tasmania.
Blobfish are not often seen by humans because they live in such deep water. Scientists only started studying them in the early 2000s!
The Psychrolutidae family inhabits a large area with species found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
Psychrolutes microporos and Psychrolutes marcidus live in the depths of Australia and New Zealand, no shallower than 500m.
Photo: Irina Griskova via Getty Images
The blobfish is not currently listed as endangered or threatened. However, because they live in deep water, they are at risk of being caught by deep-sea trawlers. These trawlers drag huge nets along the ocean floor, and they often catch fish that they were not intending to catch. This "bycatch" can be very damaging to the blobfish population.
The reason it's unclear whether blobfish are endangered is that they live in the depths of the ocean, a world largely unknown to us. We don't have information on topics such as how many there are, what their natural predators might be, or how long they live.
If the Psychrolutes microporos only inhabit areas around Australia and New Zealand, then thankfully their numbers aren't large. However, this also means that there aren't many trawlers in those regions either. It is challenging to tell how much harm the population experiences when even a single blobfish becomes caught in nets.
The blobfish, whether endangered or not, has brought attention to the need for conservation. The deliberately irreverent approach may make you laugh, but it's highlighting a serious problem. Animals that are ugly are less likely to be studied, let alone protected.
The blobfish is a fascinating creature that has captivated the internet's attention. It's ugly, it's weird, and it's definitely not your average fish. But beneath its ghastly exterior, there is a real animal with a unique life story.
We may never know exactly how many blobfish there are in the world, but we can be sure that they are one of the many victims of deep-sea trawling. As we learn more about the blobfish and other deep-sea creatures, we can help to protect them from this threat.
So next time you see a picture of a blobfish, remember that it's not just a funny-looking animal. It's a real creature that deserves our respect and protection.
This concludes our blog post about the blobfish! We hope you found it informative and entertaining. Stay tuned for more posts about strange and wonderful animals from all over the world!