After scouring the oceans for you, here are what we consider to be the world’s top 10 weirdest looking fish:
Found in deep waters off mainland Australia, Tasmaia and New Zealand.
Enters the fish through its gills and attaches itself to the bottom of its tongue. It cuts off the supply of blood to the fish’s tongue which then atrophies and dies. The louse attaches itself to the fish’s tongue muscles and then survives by feeding off blood and mucous from the host fish.
There are over 200 species of angler fish living in the depths of the Antarctic and Atlantic oceans. They can measure over 1m in length. Females have a fishing pole-like appendage above their mouths which they use to attract prey. The males, which are much smaller than females, are parasitic and latch on to female with their teeth and over time physically fuse to the female’s skin and bloodtream.
Has a barrel dome of a head which is made up of transparent soft tissue. It has dominant, telescoping eyes situated inside its transparent head which generally gaze upwards to assist the fish in searching for prey. Found in the tropic, temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans at depths of 400 – 2 500 metres.
This fish has changed very little since prehistoric times and looks more like an eel than a shark – although its six gills give it away! Rarely seen, the frilled shark is found in all of the world’s oceans of depths of 50 – 1 500m.
An invertebrate parasite dating back over 400 million years. They are very aggressive predators that rasp holes in the bodies of fish with their toothy mouths and then suck out all the host fish’s body juices. They can be found in the Great Lakes of Canada, where they are a big threat to the fish population.
Found at depths of between 500m and 3 000m. These agressive predators have huge teeth that do not fit into their mouths and a hinged skull which they can rotate upwards in order to swallow bigger prey. They eat so much that their stomach can expand to twice its normal size.
They are the world’s largest bony fishes and can reach a length of 17 metres. As they live in the oceans at depths of between 300 and 1,000 metres, they are usually only seen when they come to shallow waters when ill, dying or dead.
Hagfish have elongated, ‘eel-like’ bodies, and paddle-like tails. As hagfish belong to a more primitive lineage than any other group commonly defined as fish, there is some debate whether Hagfish are actually fish! Hagfish can exude copious quantities of a sticky slime when captured, which turns into a thick and sticky gel when combined with water. And yes, we get them in Cape Town waters 😀
Amazonian Pacu Fish
A South American freshwater fish, related to the Piranha. It differs from the Piranha in that it is an omnivorous fish and its teeth are flat and human-like!
What wierd and wonderful sea creatures have you seen? We sometimes get unusual visitors to our shores, especially when extremely warm or extremely cold water comes into the bay. Come and dive with Indigo Scuba and you might just spot some for yourself!