Friday, 22 April 2011

Blobfish

Image: scienceray.com
Cheer up, mate. Might never happen! Look at this ugly mug drooping and dripping all over the place like a right, old misery guts. This facial expression isn't actually a result of unhappiness from being pulled from the sea and dropped on the ground, although it IS a result of being pulled from the sea and dropped on the ground. The problem is that Mr. Blobfish comes from depths of 600 to 1,200 m (1,970-3,940 ft). Instead of using a swim bladder to maintain buoyancy, he has gelatinous flesh that is slightly less dense than water, allowing him to float just above the sea floor. It probably doesn't look so bad down there, but up here he looks a little melty and... splat.

Image via Wikipedia
Blobfish are about as lazy as they look. Resting and in a way, floating, in the deep, they pluck bits of food from the water as it drifts around them. They are found off the coasts of Australia and Tasmania and reach 30 centimetres (1 foot) in length.

10 comments:

texwisgirl said...

poor little "ziggy" faced guy...

Emma Springfield said...

It is interesting to know that nature has such a variety of creatures. Even this "ugly" fish has its place.

Crunchy said...

Yeah, this ugly fish has its place. Way deep in the ocean where it's too dark to see. ;)

So, how gelatinous is his flesh? If you squeeze one side, does it all squish to the other side or is it relatively fixed in place? Is it like fluid in a bunch of sacks or something? Could you drain a blobfish?

Fuzzball Dave said...

Is the flesh humanly edible?

Comment1 said...

@texwisgirl: I had to look that one up. Wkipedia describes Ziggy as "a small, bald, trouserless, barefoot, almost featureless character (save for his large nose) who seems to have no friends, hobbies, or romantic partner, just a menagerie of pets"...

That really does sound pretty bad :(

@Emma: Yes! It's quite extraordinary, you never what strange creature will turn up next. Not only are there new animals being found all the time, but there are all sorts of animals that are already discovered but hardly anyone has heard of.

@Crunchy: Ha! You got that right! As for gelatinous, I think it's sort of soft. So if you prodded it, your finger would squidge it a lot because the flesh and muscle are soft and yielding. It's probably more like a beer belly than a water balloon.

Having said all that, I really want to try it out now...

@Fuzzball Dave: Nope! They're sometimes taken up in deep sea trawls but they aren't used for anything. I don't know if anyone tested this, though. Maybe no-one could stomach the idea. Let alone the actual fish!

Chloƫ Langley said...

@Crunchy, @Fuzzball Dave, you get the best ideas! I mean, I would not even think about eating this fish or trying to "drain" it! :D However, imagine if you just drained the fish over a frying pan and then made some "srambled meat". Ohh such possibilities of culinary advancements!

Meg said...

For some reason, when I saw this guy, I thought of a line from a Terry Pratchett book: "It was as if the ocean had decided to create life without going through all that tedious business of evolution, and had simply formed a part of itself into a biped and sent it walking squishily up the beach." Yeah, I know it's not a biped and it doesn't walk anywhere, but it still looks like something hastily thrown together, without much care or consideration.

Comment1 said...

Ha! It really does look like an afterthought. It's like someone sneezed and felt he could make something out of the result. It isn't all that clear he was right, though!

Meg said...

hahaha! yeah, it's a good effort, but in the end, it's still snot.
Poor blob fish...i'm sure they don't deserve all the mean things people (like me) say about them. They probably have real nice personalities...or something.

Comment1 said...

Yeh, and you'd probably have to go down there to really get to know him. These long distance relationships are so tricky!

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