Jessi: Oh hey, guys! We were just practicing our sad faces.
Ooo, good one, Squeaks!
Chances are you can’t look any more miserable than this deep-sea creature: Meet the blobfish!
It’s got a pretty good reason to look so bummed. It’s been called the world’s ugliest
Which really isn’t a nice thing to say.
I mean, it might not be as cute as a panda or a kitten, but the blobfish’s funny-looking
body actually helps it to survive in its harsh underwater environment.
The blobfish lives in the ocean off the coast of Australia. And it lives really, really
How deep? Almost at the sea floor — that’s nearly 10 times deeper than where most ocean
Not many animals could survive where the blobfish lives.
Down there, it’s pitch-black because sunlight can’t even reach that far; the temperature
is just a few degrees above freezing; and the pressure is extremely high.
So what’s this pressure we’re talking about? Well, if you’re at the bottom of
the ocean, the weight of all the water on top of you presses down really hard. And
it squeezes you — like a really, really tight bear hug!
So how does the blobfish survive with all this intense pressure? Well, that’s where
its “ugliness” is actually a plus!
The blobfish has a gooey, jelly-like body that can handle the squeezing from all of
that underwater pressure.
In fact, it has almost no muscle, and very few bones. It’s almost pure squish!
But it’s still able to do things like move and eat, because its blobbiness makes it buoyant.
And this means it can just float comfortably right above the ocean floor without having
to use too much energy to swim.
And it mostly just swallows food that happens to float on by.
Which I have to admit would be pretty neat. Could you imagine cheeseburgers just floating
into your mouth?!
So the blobfish is blobby for a lot of good reasons. And to its underwater friends, it
probably doesn’t look so ugly at all.
Scientists actually think that — when it’s at home on the ocean floor — the blobfish
probably looks more like the other fish that we know. That’s because the pressure at
the bottom of the ocean squeezes its body into that shape.
But most of the blobfish that we’ve seen have been caught by fishing nets, and brought up
out of the ocean.
And when a blobfish is taken away from the pressure that gives its body that shape, well,
it looks blobbier than usual.
So is the blobfish really ugly? Well, maybe to some people.
Is it awesome? Definitely.
Thanks for learning about the blobfish with me and Squeaks. We’re going to go ahead
and practice our silly faces now, hope you guys do too.