• Chaitrali Samant

Behold The Blobfish



Their Reputation


In an online poll, the Blobfish was voted the ugliest creature on the planet, in a contest focused on bringing attention to ugly but endangered animals. However, despite its place in pop culture, the blobfish is still a mysterious creature. While endangered due to human activity, not that much is known about their activities and way of life. As an endangered species, many are killed every year from fishing nets dragging across the ocean floor. To give the blobfish the most effective solution, scientists are still trying to learn more about this creature, despite most people knowing the blobfish as "ugly" and not much else.


Misconceptions


The biggest misconception about these fish is their appearance, which probably makes up their entire identity to us. Blobfish are a deep sea creature, used to living at depths of 4,000 feet or deeper. At those depths, they experience 120 times more pressure than at the surface. Without much bone or muscle, blobfish rely on this pressure to provide structural support. The scientists that first discovered it recorded their soft, gooey nature both in and out of the water. and took a picture of this blobfish, now called Mr. Blobby.The now infamous picture (above) is a blobfish out of the water, with nothing to support their body. Below is picture of what they would actually look like, if kept in the the conditions they should be in. (A little easier on the eyes, I think).



Lifestyle


Besides living in the depths of the ocean, blobfish have many interesting activities and hunting strategies. They use what's called a "sit and wait" strategy, when the predator will sit with their mouth open, and suck in any food that accidentally swims their way. Their diet consists of sea urchins, crabs, and mollusks. A mostly inactive creature, blobfish have evolved to conserve their energy in the depths, where sources of energy are scarce. The deep sea, devoid of much life, doesn't provide the blobfish of many predators with many predators or prey. Naturally blobfish are another example of how deep sea animals often live longer than their shallow water counterparts. Some reports say the blobfish can live up to 100 years!


Unlike most fish, blobfish don't have a swim bladder, supposed to keep the fish buoyant. The swim bladder is an air sac that allows fish to swim through water with ease. For the blobfish, their gooey skin is enough to serve the same purpose. However, once they're removed from the water, this flabby skin goes back to being as shapeless as we've seen.


Sources:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/behold-the-blobfish-180956967/ 
https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/88111/7-unattractive-facts-about-blobfish 
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