Whether they are ugly or beautiful, fish are one of the most wonderful creations of nature. With over 34,000 different species, and although every creature is important or every animal has a purpose, sometimes the evolutionary process creates a creature that is not visually attractive or even exists some ugly fish species. The diversity of marine life is beyond our understanding, as many of these ugly fish species have a surprising appearance that you can hardly imagine. So, are you curious about which is the ugliest fish in the world? The following article will cover the ten ugliest fish species from all over the planet.
The Blobfish lives at depths greater than 1600 feet in an environment with extremely high pressure, even up to 4000 feet. The oceans of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian are the favorite habitats of the Blobfish. According to a public survey conducted by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, this fish is one of the ugliest fish species in the world.
The majority of its body mass is a gelatinous, spongy substance that allows the blobfish to not be crushed by the pressure of the water, which helps it survive and thrive in the depths of the ocean.
2. Angler Fish
The Angler Fish is a predatory and ugly-looking animal that lives in the deep sea of the Antarctic and the Atlantic Ocean, making it the second ugliest fish on the list. The Angler Fish has a large head, a huge mouth shaped like a hatchet, and sharp, transparent teeth. They are usually dark gray to brown in color, and some species can grow up to 3.3 feet long.
Only the females have the most prominent features, as part of their spine protrudes above and their mouth resembles a fishing rod, hence the name Angler Fish. They use their body to lure their prey close enough and then catch them. Additionally, the Angler Fish can swallow prey twice its size thanks to its large jaws and highly flexible body.
3. Frilled Shark
The Frilled Shark is a prehistoric living fossil found in the deep, dark waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It is one of the oldest species of sharks. The sharks have a long, eel-like body, and can quickly lunge and twist to capture prey with their 300 sharp, needle-like teeth.
Other distinguishing features include a snake-like head, a wide, gaping mouth with a frilled jaw that is large enough to swallow prey whole, six gill slits behind the head, two on each side of the body with special frilled edges, and a very small lower caudal fin while the upper fin is elongated and extends along much of the body.
Monkfish, also known as goosefish, frogfish, sea devil, anglerfish, and fishing frog, is a species of fish that lives on the ocean floor. It is one of the ugliest fish with spotted skin, a large head and mouth, small eyes, and sharp, scary-looking teeth. They also have the ability to change the color of their bodies to adapt to different environments quickly.
Both jaws of the monkfish have long, sharp teeth that point inward and can be temporarily locked in place. They are also gluttonous eaters, consuming anything in their path. This fish can walk on the ocean floor – where it often hides in sand or among seaweed – using the joints of its pectoral and pelvic fins as legs, and its skin has fringe-like appendages similar to short seaweed all over its head and body.
5. Goblin Shark
The Goblin Shark is a species that lives in the deep ocean and is one of the rarest shark species today. It is called the “goblin shark” because its name comes from its resemblance to goblins in Japanese folklore. They can grow up to 12 feet in length and weigh 460 pounds, with teeth resembling fangs and a distinctive narrow snout, and they inhabit the coast of Japan. It is a skilled hunter with a strange-shaped mouth and a long, wide snout. Thanks to its strong jaws, it can cleverly bite and ambush any prey.
6. Atlantic wolffish
The Atlantic wolffish, also known as the sea wolf or devil fish, looks terrifying as its name suggests. Its protruding teeth resemble fangs as it chases after slow-moving prey such as crabs, lobsters, sea urchins, and giant clams, easily capturing these species.
Apart from its distinctive appearance, you can easily identify the Atlantic wolffish by the large size of its eggs. They produce a natural antifreeze to keep their blood flowing in the icy living environment. Both male and female fish actively participate in the egg-laying and parenting process, which is quite fascinating.
7. Sloane’s Viperfish
Sloane’s Viperfish is a species of dragonfish found in temperate and tropical oceans around the world. It has an expandable spine and mainly feeds on crustaceans and small fish. The Viperfish is also known as “Sloane’s Viperfish,” and it is easily recognized by its unusually long lower jaw and distinctive fang-like teeth.
They typically range from 12 to 23 inches (30-60 cm) in length and inhabit deep-sea and tropical regions, at depths of 3,300 to 16,000 feet, where the average water temperature is 39°F. Scientists estimate that Viperfish can live up to 40 years in the wild and come in various colors, from green to black, making them quite unique. They have scales-like structures on their bodies, but no one knows exactly what they are. Whatever they are, they are undoubtedly considered one of the ugliest fish in the world.
Hagfish, also known as slime eels, are a type of marine animal that resembles a lamprey and live on the ocean floor. They can be found in deep waters all around the world, even in icy environments. Despite being almost blind, hagfish have well-developed senses of smell and touch, with four pairs of sensory tentacles around their mouths. Their mouths do not have jaws, but instead have two pairs of hook-shaped teeth that protrude from the roof of their mouths to help them chew their food.
The ability to eat dead fish or other dead sea creatures by burrowing into their flesh and devouring the meal from the inside out is one of the unusual characteristics of the hagfish, which sounds quite gruesome. The hagfish feeds primarily on worm-like creatures, and what’s peculiar is that due to its slow metabolism, it can go without food for up to seven months. It is often referred to as a slime eel by fishermen because it can excrete liters of slime at once, which it uses to ward off predators and create a perfect hiding place for itself.
9. Whitemargin Fish
The Whitemargin fish is a species with lips pointing upwards and eyes on the top of its head, looking quite scary. In particular, this fish can produce an electric shock of up to 50 volts or more to paralyze its prey. In addition, to being one of the ugliest fish species, it is also one of the most dangerous fish species to avoid. The Whitemargin fish often live in underwater rocky reefs but are very difficult to locate as they spend most of their time submerged under the bottom, with only their eyes protruding.
10. Red-lipped Batfish
Red-lipped batfish is a species of fish that lives on the seafloor and is found in the waters near the Galapagos Islands and the coast of Peru in South America. The unique feature of the red-lipped batfish is that they prefer to walk on the seafloor using their pectoral and pelvic fins instead of swimming like other fish in the ocean. However, as they grow older, they stop using their dorsal fin to walk and instead use it to lure prey, making hunting easier for them.
Here are the top ten ugliest fish species we have compiled. Many fish species have incredible sizes and shapes, with bizarre and unique appearances, living in the oceans. However, despite their unattractive looks, it is essential for us to understand that every creature has its own unique characteristic and way of life, making our lives more beautiful and diverse.