The blobfish is the world’s ugliest animal. But we don’t think the contest was very fair
It’s that time of year once more when everyone comes together to harass the blobfish.
The blobfish was chosen as the most repulsive animal in the world yesterday after the votes were cast and totaled. The Ugly Animal Preservation Society was in charge of the contest. The Society was looking for an ugly mascot to represent all the animals out there who receive less support than their cuddly and cute counterparts. “The panda gets too much attention,” the Society says.
However, even though the cause may be honorable, we believe the world treated our friend the blobfish (or, if you prefer, Psychrolutes marcidus, as his scientific name is) too harshly.
Since it has been through so much, we actually believe that droopy blobfish up there is holding up quite well. Deep water fish called Psychrolutes marcidus can be found between 2,000 and 4,000 feet off the coast of Australia. Up to 120 times more pressure than at the surface exists down there. There is no way you would want to be down there without a powerful submarine. The blobfish feels the same way about being up here.
Many fish have something called a swim bladder, sacs of air in their body that help them move around and stay buoyant. When you take fish with swim bladders out of their natural habitats that air sac “may expand when they rise. Because of the expansion of their air sac, there is a risk that their insides will be pushed out through their mouth, thereby killing them.” (Emphasis added.)
See what we mean about the blobfish doing okay?
The blobfish doesn’t have a swim bladder, so its stomach got to stay inside its body. But that doesn’t mean it’s holding up well in the atmosphere. The blobfish doesn’t really have a skeleton, and it doesn’t really have any muscle. So, up here, it’s saggy and droopy. But without this particular make-up, down at depth, it’d be dead.
Henry Reich for Minute Earth: “Unlike most other fish, the ones that live in these depths don’t have gas-filled cavities like swim bladders that would collapse under the extreme pressure. In fact, super-deep water fish often have minimal skeletons and jelly-like flesh, because the only way to combat the extreme pressure of deep water is to have water as your structural support.”
So why do we think the world is too hard on the blobfish? Because if we put you 4,000 feet below the water your organs would be crushed and you’d probably be turned into some sort of paste. Meanwhile the blobfish would just look like….well….