Blobfish ... what's not to love?
With a face only a mother could love, the Blobfish was only recently discovered this last decade when fishing trawlers using deep sea drag nets brought up a few specimen along with their intended catch.
Blobfish are found at about 2,400 feet deep where the pressure is several dozens of times higher than at sea level, which would likely make gas bladders inefficient. To remain buoyant, the flesh of the Blobfish is primarily a gelatinous mass making the body density slightly less than that of salt water; this allows the fish to float above the sea floor without expending any energy on swimming. It just floats ... to eat.
While not terribly aggressive, this fish has caught the attention and imagination of a whole class of humans recently, primarily due to the one really good photo found on the internet that had been issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as a handout photo / February 15, 2010 (above). A fish with a somewhat human-looking face ... the Blobfish.
It spawned this prose from the LA Times.
This excerpted and edited from the LA Times -
Fear the blobfish
With its humanlike face, the blobfish is a creature of nightmares, and who knows what terrors it could bring upon us
By John Kass - February 17, 2010
As you can see from the accompanying photograph, the cunning blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) is the most terrifying fish in the world.
And if you're not afraid of it yet, you should be, because there's always something lurking out there that can get you.
Its hideously deformed body is quite boneless, a gelatinous orb hovering in the deep, covered in slime and mucus. But there's something even worse.
A blobfish looks like some fat, drunken judge and may be highly intelligent. And therefore quite dangerous.
It frowns. It leers. Sometimes, it even drools.
American journalism has a formula for stories designed to whip up panic about highly adaptive species. For "balance," you insert a quote or two from some learned biologist who tells readers not to worry.
Some marine biologist might reassure readers that the blobfish lives far away, in the deep waters off the coast of Tasmania — some 9,600 miles away — and therefore could never find its way into the Chicago River or the ship canal.
It's not impossible (perhaps even likely) that schools of bloodthirsty blobfish may be blobbing their way up the Mississippi River, their big noses leaving wakes behind them, and roiling trails of foam. And then they'll be oozing from your kitchen tap.
The blobfish is boneless. It's a blob.
So, theoretically, it might squeeze through all the protective filters and screens, and then, with a grunt, pop right out of your stylish Swedish designer faucet, its ugly face first.
Or perhaps out of your toilet bowl when you're at your most vulnerable, sleepy in the middle of the night.
Or what about your pulsating-massage shower head? Just imagine the beast squeezing from the shower head, hurtling at your face, or worse, into your open mouth, your muffled screams unheard by your loved ones.
So don't give me the pious ramblings of scientific bureaucrats telling us not to panic over the dreaded beast.
Sadly, information regarding the terror of the blobfish is scarce, perhaps by design.
"As the blobfish is comprised of a gelatinous substance, they actually have no muscles at all, and they just float in the same spot most of the time, waiting for their next meal."
It's said the blobfish eats mostly mollusks, but it's only a matter of time until it develops a hunger for human snacks, first Cheez-Its and Slim Jims, then maybe veal chops, before lunging up the food chain.
Yet with an imminent blobfish invasion, we'll have to come up with new recipes. Try broiled blobfish on a buttered baking sheet, sprinkled with Japanese-style breadcrumbs, the crunchiness contrasting pleasantly with all that goo underneath.
Or how about sauteed blobfish, with lemon and capers?
So be afraid.
Be very much afraid.