What are the strangest looking fish in the world?


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    The world’s oceans are filled with a, array of unique and spectacular organisms; fish represent one of the world’s most diverse and widespread groups of species. Here are ten of Earth’s strangest, weirdest and downright freakiest fish!


    Certainly one of the ocean’s most bizarre looking fish, the blobfish spends its entire live in the deep waters of the coast of Australia. Feeding primarily on organic matter that simply floats by, these fish are being killed at alarming rates by bottom-trawling fishing boats that are destroying their deep-sea habitats and ensnaring the fish in the process.


    Many people will recognize this next fish; the Anglerfish lives in the deepest, blackest waters on our planet. Through a process known as bioluminescence, anglerfish produce a bright light that glows at the end of appendage fixed above the fish’s mouth. Fish are instinctively drawn towards the light just as they are to a fishermen’s lure, hence the name.

    Barreleye Fish:

    There are several different species of Barreleye fish in the world’s oceans, however all of them share a particularly fascinating. These fish have highly developed large barrel-like eyes that are housed within their uniquely transparent heads.

    Ocean Sunfish:

    The Ocean Sunfish, or common Mola, is the world’s largest bony fish; it can weigh more than a ton and can reach lengths of ten feet or more! These ocean giants spend their days gliding effortlessly through the sea as they search for they next meal of jellyfish or squid.

    Fangtooth Fish:

    The Fangtooth fish is perhaps one of the world’s most menacing and ferocious looking fishes. These deep sea fish never grows bigger than about 6 inches, but their face is still enough to give you a good scare.


    These beautiful fish are found throughout the waters of the Pacific Ocean, mainly around reefs or the coast. Most fish couldn’t get away with such an extravagant display of color, but lionfish have a secret weapon; deadly poison is produced in the spines on the lionfish’s back which prevents predators from taking a good bite out of them.


    Lumpfish, also known as lumpsuckers, are found in the cold waters of the world’s northern oceans. These fish, as their name suggests, have large rounded bodies and are relatively poor swimmers; because of this, most lumpfish spend their lives on the bottom, searching for marine worms, crustaceans or mollusks to prey upon.

    Black Chimaera:

    Chimaeras are known informally by a number of other names including ratfish, rabbitfish and ghost sharks. With dozens of species, some will ultimately be more extravagant than others, and the black Chimaera is certainly unique. These ghostly looking creatures can reach lengths of six feet and have a poisonous spine on their back to protect them from predators.

    Atlantic Wolffish:

    The Atlantic Wolffish is one of the ocean’s greatest enigmas. These fish are eel shaped, with a long slender body and can reach lengths of five feet and weigh up to forty pounds. Living off the north-eastern coast of North America, wolffish remain in their rocky dens, safe from harm unless they venture out in search of sea urchin or stray crab to enjoy as a snack. 

    Black Swallower:

    The Black Swallower is the last fish on our list, but still one of the strangest. Living in the world’s deepest ocean depths, these fish rarely grow longer than a foot. In the cold, blackness of the ocean deep, you can never let a meal slip by and so accordingly, they have compensated for their small stature with an amazing evolutionary trait. These fish can expand their stomachs to three times its normal size in order to swallow fish much larger than itself, thus negating their small size.

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    The Hatchet Fish….they look so sad……

    [img_assist|nid=136335|title=Hatchet Fish|desc=|link=none|align=center|width=640|height=480]

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    I’d like to add a few more fish to that list.

    But first, here’s something that will make the anglerfish deserve the top spot. Quoting from American Museum of Natural History description of the fish (the website in citations describes this as well): “Tiny male angler searches for a female by smell, then bites into her and becomes permanently attached. Eventually his mouth fuses to her body, his gut degenerates, his blood vessels merge with hers and he becomes little more than an attached sperm sac available at any time to fertilize her eggs. In some species females have several males embedded in their bodies”. See that little white blob on the picture below on the bottom of the angler? Yep, it’s a male.

    Don’t forget, there are many different angler fish, and some look even weirder, like this wolftrap:


    Here’s another one I noticed at AMNH: “the cookie-cutter shark latches onto larger animals such as whales or squid with its lips by suction, then twists its head to saw a circular, cookie-shaped plug of flesh out of the side of its victim with its sharp teeth”. Creepy.


    I also think coelacanths deserve an honorable mention, which were considered to be an extinct missing link between fish and tetrapods until their discovery in 1938. They are quite strange-looking.


     Back to deep-water cuties. The goblin shark has special jaws that it can rapidly extend outside of its mouth when attacking. Just take a look here:


    The deep sea frilled shark is another living fossil. Its snakelike, slithering body is certainly odd-looking.



    The truth is, this list could go on and on by adding more deep-sea dwellers, I’ve seen some unique-looking species not included here both online and in museums.







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    I think puffer fish up there on my strange list  – odd and pointy from every angle. 


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    Although they don’t look it from far away, the Piranha, with its distended lower jaw, is a very bizarre looking fish, particularly in a frenzy.

    I hope this helped!

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    The lumpsucker (this one was found off of the coast of northeast England) is bizarre because there is a suction cup on its underside.[img_assist|nid=167895|title=fish|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=640|height=357]

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    Found at the bottom of the oceans of Antarctrica, the eelpout Pachycara cousinsi is one of six unknown deep-sea fishes found at depths of 2.8 miles during a British research expedition in the Indian Ocean between Antarctica and Africa.  The P. cousinsi is known from just a single, 1.35 foot long specimen found in the 2005 to 2006 voyage.



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    The young box fish is pretty strange looking.

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    I would have to add the human-teeth fish is also quite strange and creepy looking. It hasn’t been identified by scientists. 


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    I believe the monkfish deserves a spot on this list just because it is pretty weird looking and you are likely to see this on a seafood menu at some point. Yeah people eat them and they are not bad tasting. 

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    This is a really weird looking fish.  It is the Plecostomus, and can be found in freshwater off of Central and South America.  They are known to eat algae so they are popular for aquariums.  Some can grown up to two feet in length, but certain species can grown even bigger. 



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    This strange looking fish caught off of the coast of Russia was said to be moaning like a human!

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    I like to go classic with my strange-looking fish, the hammerhead shark.

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    I’m a big fan of the guitarfish.  From the top, they don’t look so weird… 

    …but from the bottom, oh goodness!

      We find them scary-looking because their features coincidentally look a bit like a human, and our brains are designed to recognize human faces -except this is obviously off! There’s nothing to be afraid of though.  Guitarfish are pretty ordinary little animals, relatives of both sharks and sting rays 🙂 

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    I feel this discussion would benefit from a video of the goblin shark. The strangeness of this animal can’t be fully appreciated without footage of the action making it famous.

    I recomend skipping to around 30 seconds.

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    The Hairy Frogfish can definitely be added to this list. When I looked at it, it seriously freaked me out. A type of angler fish, it consists of hundreds of hairlike appendages on its body.

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    Behold, the Dumbo Octopus:

    I think its just so cute!

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    The oarfish is a truly bizzare looking fish. Some think it may be what some ancient writers called a “sea monster”. 


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    The ocean is home to countless creatures and not all of its creatures have been discovered by humans. Here are some fishes that are rarely seen my humans and fall under the “strange” category.

    1.  Blobfish: The fish is a deep sea fish. They inhabit the deep water coasts of Australia and Tasmania and is rarely seen by humans. The Blobfish can grow up to twelve inches.
    2. Axolotl: The fish is also known as the Mexican Walking Fish. These fishes eat mollusks, worms, insect larvae, crustaceans, and some other fishes. These anime looking fishes are endangered due to habitat lost and predatory reasons.

    3. Frilled Shark: These sharks are found in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. The Frilled Sharks grow up to be two meters.
    4.  Anglerfish: This fish is considered to be one of the ugliest creatures on earth. There are more than 200 species of Anglerfish. The majority of these fish live in the murky water deep in the Atlantic and Antarctic ocean. They can grow up to three meters long.

    5. Loch Ness Monster:  These creatures were first discovered in 565 AD when missionaries spotted them in Loch. The Loch Ness Monster is named after the place it was first discovered in a body of freshwater in Loch Ness, Great Britain. The Loch Ness is the largest body of freshwater in Great Britain.

    6. Dana Octopus Squid: The Octopus Squid is one of the largest know squid species. These creatures are know to grow as long as 2.3 meters long. They catch their prey by emitting flashes of light to blind their preys.
    7. Leafy Sea Dragon: The Leafy Sea Dragon is naturally camouflaged with leaf-like limbs. They can easily hide in seaweed and comfortably blend in. They are related to seahorses and pipefish. These creatures tend to be  brown or yellow. They generally grow around 14 inches but some are known to grow up to 18 inches. Leafy Sea Dragons feed on small crustaceans like sea lice and mysids. Due to habitat loss and pollution these creatures are nearly threatened.
    8. Long Horn Cowfish: The Cowfish inhabit the reefs of Indo-Pacific. They are a type of boxfish and have long horns that comes out of their heads like cows and bulls. These creatures are peaceful and are known to grow up to one feet and eight inches. They are white and yellow. The skin of the Cowfish is poisonous and when threatened or dead, the Cowfish  releases toxins.
    9.  Viperfish: They have large mouths and fang-like teeth. They grow up to twelve inches long and hunt in the dark. These creatures are known to go as deep at 5,000 feet. They live in tropical and temperate waters. Not much detail is know about their mating habits and about them in general because they live in such deep waters.
    10. Vampire Squid: They grow to about six inches. Mistaken for a type of octopus in 1903, these creatures are an ancient species.

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