Interesting Blobfish Facts for Kids

The blobfish is known as the world’s ugliest animal or ugliest fish. You might be surprised to know that the blobfish is a new discovery that scientists don’t know much about. That’s because it is a deep water fish that lives along the sea floor. The smooth-head blobfish may not be well known, but it sure is unlike anything you’ve ever seen and interesting to learn about.

Photo Courtesy of Bhakti Patel aboard NIWAs RV Tangaroa in the Sub-Antartic Ocean

Blobfish Facts

  • The scientific name of a blobfish is psychrolutes marcidus.
  • Blobfish live on the ocean floor.
  • You shouldn’t eat a blobfish. They are too acidic for people to eat.

Characteristics of a Blobfish

Blobfish have a gelatinous appearance, which means the flesh of the blobfish is soft like jello. That is because blobfish do not have a skeleton, only a partial back bone. If a blobfish comes above sea level, some say it looks like the face of an old man. They have large heads, large black eyes, a large mouth, and a bulbous nose. Bulbous means round and bulging.

If a blobfish came to sea level it would look like one of the world’s ugliest creatures. But down in the extreme pressure of the deep sea, it looks like a regular fish. The soft bones and lack of muscles are an important adaptation for a blogfish because of the high pressure at the bottom of the ocean.

Dead blobfish brought up from the deep © Shutterstock

Blobfish Habitat

It has been hard for scientists to observe the blobfish in its natural habitat. There are two reasons for that. One reason is because they live so deep in the ocean. The other reason is because scientists believe they are an endangered species. That means there isn’t many of them to find and observe in their natural environment. Blobfish live off the coasts of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand.

Blobfish Diet

Imagine you are a blobfish. You don’t have much energy. You have a large body mass, but very little muscle. You can imagine that it would be hard to hunt for food. It’s a good thing that blobfish don’t need much food to survive. Because they don’t move around much, they eat whatever comes their way. They open their mouth and wait for something to come by and get close enough to eat. They usually eat small crustaceans, sea pens, sea urchins, or crabs. Hopefully they avoid any trash or pollution in the ocean that could hurt them.

Photo Courtesy of Cousteau Kids

Predators of Blobfish

It is thought that blobfish don’t have any natural predators. Even though they have a lack of predators, there are still things that can harm them. The most harmful thing to them is garbage like plastic that they accidentally eat that could kill them. The other biggest threat to them is fishing nets. If a blobfish is caught in a net, it is released. However, scientists believe that the trip to the water’s surface harms them and could cause them to die.

Life Cycle of a Blobfish

The female blobfish lays pink eggs on the bottom of the ocean floor. The female or male blobfish will sit on them to keep them safe from predators like other sea creatures.

Fun Facts about Blobfish

  • Blobfish don’t have swim bladders. A swim bladder is something that other fish have to help keep them buoyant.
  • Nobody really knows how many blobfish there are in the world. It is predicted that there aren’t that many.
  • The blobfish is related to the blob sculpin fish which has been observed more often.