Who is blobfish and why it’s really not as bad as you think

He even earned a title in spite of himself “the ugliest animal in the world” and its appearance sad and deformed and ended up on t-shirts, trading cards, video games, gadgets, and countless memes. We are talking about a famous fish blobfish, but everything you know about him and his appearance is completely false, or the result of a big misunderstanding. In fact, in fact, when stupid fish it’s not like the famous photo where he’s limp and with a sad expression, almost like he’s melting. This aspect is actually partially caused to decompression trauma suffered from the first individuals caught.

Who is blobfish

Artist impression by Rachel Caauwe

Psychrolutes marcidusbetter known as blobfish or blob fish, is a characterized species big head and a body with a triangular profile that tapers more and more towards the flat tail. It lives in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, between the coastal waters of southern Australia and New Zealand, at a depth of between 600 and 1200 meters. It is less than 30 cm long, its fins are large and rounded, and its body color is pinkish gray with brown spots. The mouth and lips are pinkish-white.

To the great depths, as far as he can, where the pressure is also 60 to 120 times larger than that perceived at the surface, the swim bladder used by most fish is not very efficient, so the species has developed a number of special adaptations to maintain hydrostatic buoyancy. His body actually has consistency almost gelatinous, which allows it to float on the ocean floor without wasting energy swimming. Its relative lack of strong muscles is not a disadvantage, as it would be very complicated at these pressures move easily.

To the genre Psychrolutesin fact, several other species are included at least ten moreall now labeled as blobfish. They are almost all live fish at great depths which capture crustaceans and other deep-sea invertebrates with their large mouths. Due to the inaccessibility of their habitat, the blobfish par excellence and other similar species have been very rarely studied and photographed in the wild, so very little is known about their habits and conservation status. However, as species that live on the sea floor, they probably suffer from trawling.

Because it really isn’t as bad as you think

Blobfish drawing by Alan Riverstone McCulloch

IN 2013 The blobfish was elected on“the ugliest animal in the world” to become the official mascot Society for the Protection of Ugly Animals. In fact, his deformed and sad appearance that has now stuck to him is just the result of a big misunderstanding. Its body and biology have evolved to withstand the intense pressures of the ocean depths and do not stay on the surfacewhich is why when taken out of the water it collapses and expands.

So the image we all imprinted on our minds It doesn’t do it justice at all of this species and portrays – in spite of himself – what a dead individual he appears to be instead deformed due to rapid decompression rising to the surface. In fact, when alive and well, the blob fish—although not one of the most aesthetically pleasing species— not much different from many other fish.

What the blobfish really looks like

Psychrolutes phrictus, photo from Wikimedia Commons

In the depths in which he lives, he is blobfish really has more normal and compact appearance, adapted to high pressure and darkness. Its body is not as flabby and deformed as it appears from the water because it is also held together cextreme pressure conditions to which he adapted. Not even a sad expression “nose” so flabby, but simply a fish that, like many others, is neither beautiful nor ugly, just unique and perhaps a little different from the narrower and more colorful ones we are used to.

In fact, to see what a fish blob looks like in life and in its natural environment, we should therefore not take pictures of poor dead and deformed individuals as an example. Just look at (a few) photos instead similar species in lifeas an example Psychrolutes phrictus. Or even illustrations that depict the species in the absence of actual photographs. Like the one created by Alan Riverstone McCulloch (1885-1925) or the artistic rendering of Rachel Caauwe.

Looking at them, you too will immediately notice that they have nothing in common with that sad, gelatinous mass which unfortunately we are all used to. And although it is not a champion of beauty, even the blobfish will not seem so ugly and unusual to you. As well as many other very strange fish that live in the darkness of the ocean darkness and beyond.

Leave a Comment