The blobfish is a fish of the great depths, to say the least, surprising. It is little known to the general public, except for its unappetizing appearance, and many of us may never even hear about it because this species is highly endangered. Let’s discover its way of life and see where exactly to find this funny sea fish. It is said to be almost terrifyingly ugly, with a strangely human appearance… But is it so ugly in its natural environment?
Blobfish, a little-known abyssal fish
The blobfish, Psychrolutes marcidus, belongs to the family of Psycholutidae. It lives mainly off Tasmania and Australia, in the seabed beyond 600 m depth and up to approximately 1,200 m. It is inedible for mankind. There is therefore little chance of being able to see this abyssal fish.
It is a rather solitary animal. Most of all, males and females only come together at the time of reproduction. But the blobfish still keeps a lot of mysteries on this subject since the specialists having observed it on different occasions do not know much more today.
A female blobfish lays at least 1,000 eggs, but scientists who studied blobfish reproduction in 2000 for the very first time say that some females can lay as many as 100,000 eggs. The eggs are extremely light. During the entire incubation period, they are agglutinated in a kind of pink cluster floating just above the bottom and are constantly cleaned by the female.
Blobfish, an amazing constitution
The blobfish is a captivating fish. Indeed, at such depths, water exerts a pressure 60 to more than 150 times stronger than at the surface line. The constitution of this abyssal fish had to adapt so that it could withstand this incredible pressure. It has light cartilages and is mainly made up of gelatinous flesh low density allowing him to subsist in his special environment. He does not suffer from the poverty of his muscles since he uses little energy to move. In fact, it floats most of the time a few centimeters from the bottom.
In adulthood the blobfish do not measure more than thirty centimeters in length. Extremely amazing, the blobfish has a strange head. It is the only fish that is said to have a face. This one surprisingly resembles that of a very ugly human, with his small eyes, lips and big nose.
Blobfish, an endangered abyssal fish
The appearance of this abyssal fish however, is not as repulsive when it evolves in its natural environment. Target of a few comedians, he owes his reputation as the ugliest fish in the world to the fact that his thick and flabby skin suffers head-on huge pressure difference during its rapid rise from the seabed, resulting in deformation of the animal.
His vulnerability is of course unrelated to the unattractive physique he wears when he comes out of the water. It is mainly due to its fragility and more to his accidental fishing by trawlers. Its low frequency of reproduction does not make it possible to fill this deficit. And even if the coral reefs near New Zealand and Australia are protected, the actions taken do not benefit the blobfish.