The Amazing, Reclusive Blobfish
The name blobfish conjures up an image of a cartoon character, and the real McCoy certainly could qualify for a role in the Sunday comics. Not too many have ever seen a blobfish, as it lives way down in the ocean’s depths, much further down than other fish are capable of going, not to mention capable of surviving.
At the depths the blobfish lives, the bladders other fish have for buoyancy would long since have ceased to function on the way down. As for the blobfish itself, it has no buoyancy bladder, and due to its somewhat unique construction, has no need for one. The blobfish, like the jellyfish, has no internal skeleton to speak of, though it is not a member of the jellyfish family, and is definitely a fish, though a very strange one.
The internal organs and tissues of the blobfish could best be described as gel-like in nature. Think of 25 pounds or so of Jello encased in fish skin, and you get some idea of how it might be to handle a blobfish, assuming you wanted to.
Big, Fat, And Lazy – The gel-like makeup of this fish allows it to simply go with the flow, as the fish overall is slightly lighter than the surrounding seawater, but not all that much lighter or it would shoot to the surface. As it is, the fish is more or less of a bottom dweller, feeding mainly off mollusks, but being somewhat opportunistic, eats whatever passes by.
A blobfish neither stalks nor chases its prey. It’s best described as big, fat, and lazy. Its attitude very much seems to be, “if the meal doesn’t come to me, I’ll just hang around until the next opportunity comes by”. While we really know very little about the fish, as one has to be in a deep sea diving outfit to see one in its natural habitat, one thing seems certain, and that is that the male blobfish jealously guards the eggs the female has deposited until they hatch. Detractors might say that the fish is simply too lazy to move anywhere else, and might even be waiting for the eggs to hatch to get an easy meal, but no one really knows for certain.
Out Of A Greek Tragedy – It is the face of the blobfish however which attracts the most attention if you can picture a fish having almost a human face. If you’re familiar with the classical comedy and tragedy masks associated with the theater, the tragedy mask comes close to depicting the face of the blobfish. Lacking only ears, the blobfish looks for all the world like a quite fat and quite sad person, with sad eyes, a large, downward curving mouth, and an appendage that could pass for a bulbous nose. The blobfish gives an appearance of a creature that, aware of its looks, seeks refuge in the depths of the ocean, where it can remain for the most part out of sight, and among creatures which are for the most part far less attractive than it is.
Ugly, But Not That Ugly – The blobfish could make most people’s list of the top ten ugliest members of the animal world, but such a designation is of course very suggestive, and when gazing upon the face of the blobfish it looks more sad than ugly, and a creature to feel a little sorry for rather than be afraid of. As far as ugliness is concerned, the blobfish can’t even hold a candle to the hagfish, which is ugly to the point of being disgusting. A blobfish is occasionally caught up in the bottom skimming nets of the fishing boats that harvest everything imaginable from the ocean floor, and since the existing number of these fish is an unknown, though they are thought to be somewhat rare, there is some concern regarding the possibility they may be a threatened species. As strange looking as this fish is, the world would be a little less well off if it were to become extinct.