Did you know there’s no such thing as a fish?
Yes, really, it’s a fact first brought to public attention by the British Quiz show Qi.
Each species of fish is so different to every other type of fish that’s simply put the word fish.
To describe all of them is scientifically inaccurate, because they’re all too different to fit under one umbrella.
For example, a starfish has more dna in common with a giraffe than it has with any other fish.
Because of that, there are all kinds of crazy fish you won’t believe.
THESE ARE FISH YOU WON’T BELIEVE ACTUALLY EXIST
These are fish you won’t believe actually exist.
THE SCARY CHERRY
Number 15: the Koi fish.
THE KOI FISH
Koi fish are fairly familiar site in ornamental ponds all over the world.
These fish are prized for their bright color and patterning, as well as the extraordinary sizes they can grow to.
Koi carb can grow as long as three feet if they have enough space and a good diet.
Speaking of diets, what do these monster-sized fishes actually eat?
Well, we’ve seen a video of a massive koi gobbling down whole eels as if it was chucking back popcorn, and these big fish generally find their food at the bottom of the pond or lake.
They’ll even usually eat other fish, fish, eggs, insects and algae.
They use their twin barbells.
That’s the things that look like a Twiddly mustache- in order to detect the food they’re looking for.
These sensory organs are a bit like a cat’s whiskers, but with taste buds attached, so they can find food in the murky depths.
Koi have been swimming around ponds since back to the 4th century in China, when they were first domesticated, and, incredibly, these fish can often reach at least 50 years old if they’re kept in optimum conditions.
Koi regularly outlived their owners.
The oldest koi on record was a whopping 226 years old, but how exactly anyone can keep track of that is a bit of a mystery, since that’s more than twice the age of even really super old people.
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Now it’s time for the sweet topic.
There’s no denying it: the anglerfish just has to be one of the weirdest fish in the world.
Just look at the thing.
It looks like something from guardians of the galaxy, but it’s very real.
The depths of the world’s oceans are truly stranger than fiction.
These things dwell at the lightless bottom of the ocean, which is one of the reasons why they have a dangling light from their head.
The other reason why that light is there is to serve as a lure for prey.
Not only the females have these.
The glowing light is attractive to prey, who then swim towards it, seeking relief from the darkness, like a moth toward a flame.
But the anglerfish then reveals itself, munching down on its poor victim.
Not only is the anglerfish creepy looking, but it’s also a vicious trickster, the Loki of the seas.
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Number 14: hairy frog fish.
A hairy fish.
Well, that’s just weird.
These fuzzy looking creatures, although they appear hairy, actually aren’t sorry to blow that myth out of the water.
Apparently, their hairs are actually appendages or spines that this weird creature uses in order to camouflage itself against seaweed and coral.
The hairy frogfish hangs out in warm waters and mostly just hides in plain sight.
It’s the master of disguise.
Not only can it make itself look like an innocuous piece of seaweed, but it can also change color in order to blend in with the background.
These fuzz balls don’t swim, they actually walk.
The frog fish strolls around on the sea floor in search of food.
When they do find something tasty to eat, these funny fish simply open their mouth really wide in order to suck in their prey, and then they swallow it whole.
They’re also really good at fishing.
These sea creatures have an unusual technique.
In order to lure in their prey, they have one really long spine that looks like a worm, so they waggle it around in front of a target like bait, drawing the prey close enough to gobble it down.
Surprisingly for a smaller fish, the hairy frog fish is able to swallow a meal that’s up to twice its size, turns out.
These guys have a super flexible stomach.
Weird number 13.. , fangtooth fish.
Now you can probably guess why this fish has been given this particular name.
The fishy horror movie monster has some pretty mean looking fangs, but despite its menacing appearance, the fangtooth fish is only dinky, measuring up to about 6 inches when they’re fully grown.
So that’s a relief for everyone, although you’ll probably never come across one yourself, and even if you did, this scary-faced fish is more likely to give you a jump scare than anything more painful.
They also live really deep down in the ocean at depths between sixteen hundred and sixteen 000 feet or more, hanging out deeper during the day and going into shallower water at night in order to feed.
Living at such depths, the Fangtooth actually has poor vision, but it has a super advanced system in order to sense movements and vibrations in the water around it.
This provides the fish an ability to pick out and chomp down on its prey.
Despite not being able to see it, those fangs are actually pretty lethal, though.
The Fangtooth itself has had to develop a pretty nifty adaptation so that it doesn’t accidentally poke holes in its own brain when it closes its mouth.
They have a special sort of pouch in their head in order to accommodate their fangs, so that’s fortunate for them, or perhaps they would have died out pretty fast long ago.
WHITEMARGIN STARGAZER FISH
Number 12: white margin stargazer.
Now, this funny looking guy is most definitely meaner than he appears.
The white margin stargazer fish may sound like a hopeless romantic spending his time gazing towards the heavens, but don’t let the name, or indeed the goofy expression, fool you.
The stargazer is named such because the unique position of its eyes, Dugay, is towards the stars.
However, this fish is a menace, and his eyes are positioned like that so he can hide out undetected in ambushes prey.
The white margin stargazer is able to burrow itself into the sand or silt, leaving only its eyes visible, and it’s one of the great masters of disguise in all of the world’s oceans.
Living mainly in the Indo-Pacific ocean, the white margin stargazer eats octopus, squid and a whole lot of other fish.
Now you might think that this ability to camouflage itself would be the stargazer’s superpower.
However, this fish has more than one trick up its sleeve.
These guys are poisonous and they can deliver electric shock as well.
Ouch, the stargazer has two spines equipped with venom that it uses to employ in order to capture its unfortunate prey.
And if that isn’t enough, these fish can produce their own power, delivering an electric charge of up to 50 volts.
THE YELLOW-HEADED JAWFISH
Number 11 the yellow-headed fish.
These fish hang out in sandy areas around reefs.
To stay safe in these open areas, the yellow-headed jaw fish digs itself a burrow in the sand, spending their time waiting around outside their burrows in order to eat any kind of passing food, but die for cover when anything big and dangerous approaches.
It’s a risky business, but these fish seem to have it down to a fine art.
The jaw fish is named obviously for its jaw.
It has an oversized and extremely useful big mouth.
The jawfish’s burrow takes a whole lot of maintenance, though.
You know, if you ever dug a hole at the beach, just how often the sides keep collapsing in and filling the hole back up.
Well, that’s basically the daily grind of the jawfish.
This sisyphean workload requires constant upkeep.
Not only does the fish use its cake hole for digging that burrow, the male of the species keeps fertilized eggs in their mouth.
These funny fish can be spotted aerating the eggs, which basically means spitting them out and collecting them up again.
Number 10: – yellow box fish.
Yep, the Yellow Box fish, you know, is in fact shaped like a box, and it is in fact yellow as well.
Now, i just don’t know how they keep coming up with these crazy names.
You know, it’s actually a pretty cool looking fish, though, if you like that kind of thing- and since you’re here, i guess that you do- they’re bright yellow with black polka dots All over- quite the snappy dresser.
But a word of advice for the other fishes: if you do see one of these guys, don’t get it stressed out, because they’re known to release a deadly toxin when they’re upset, and this toxin can actually kill other fish in nearby waters.
Apparently, the funky shape of the boxfish was so fascinating to the designers that Mercedes Benz that back in 2006 they built their bionic concept car, inspired by the fish’s unusual shape.
Turns out, however, that the fish is not agile because of its shape, but rather the distinct movement of its fins in combination with its unwieldy body.
So i’m not so sure how successful a wobbly old box shape would be once it was on wheels rather than floating in the water.
But keep up the good work, mercedes.
There’s plenty more fish in the sea after all.
Number nine, the stone fish.
Now here’s a fish that can put a serious downer on an afternoon’s paddle in the sea, that’s for sure.
The next time you take a dip in the tropical waters of the indo-pacific- and really we all do very often, don’t we-
You need to be careful where you step.
The stone fish is a master of disguise and one of the deadliest animals on earth.
It produces a particularly nasty venom that’s often fatal to humans, unless an anti-venom can be administered in time.
These super dangerous guys like to hide out on the ocean floor looking just like a rock.
But don’t be fooled, they’re definitely up to no good.
The stonefish actually has 13 venomous spines along its back and if anything even just brushes against these, then the venom can be released.
If you do accidentally step on a stone fish, it will sting you, and that nasty sting is going to be extremely painful and need immediate medical attention.
The venom from a stone fish can cause swelling, pain, tissue death and cardiac arrest.
So that’s a whole barrel of laughs.
Then, if you simply must venture into the water where these bad ass fish hang out, then please by all means be careful, wear shoes, watch where you step and cross your fingers.
THE ASIAN SHEEPSHEAD WRASSE
Number eight the asian Sheep’s head rass.
The asian sheepshead Ras is also known as the Kubadai.
These fish are definitely amongst the more weird looking of sea dwelling creatures.
But beneath all that kooky appearance, these fish have an awesome ability as well.
They live in groups of females with one dominant male.
So if another male does turn up, there’s always a fight which is going to result in the most dominant male taking over the group.
And if the male is getting a little old or needs an upgrade, these fish have a nifty way to get that sorted out.
So when they reach a certain age in size, these fish can actually change their gender.
They change from female to male.
They are able to take themselves off for a few months, hanging out in a secret layer, during which time the female asian sheep’s head rass can transform herself from a smaller fish with ovaries into a massive, hulking male fish with big gonads.
To prove it, then the new male is going to likely go and have a punch-up with an older one and take over their role.
The Kubadi’s special skills are not actually unique in the fish world, but they are an interesting example of these gender changing abilities.
Other fish often change the other way, from male to female, but there are some species who are fully hermaphroditic, able to reproduce entirely through self-fertilization for their whole lives.
A clever and useful adaptation in the dangerous depths of the sea.
Number seven: blob fish.
Oh, just look at these guys with a face like Mr Magoo or a piece of rude graffiti.
The poor old blob fish gets a whole bunch of abuse.
Declared by some to be the ugliest animal in the world, the blob fish is kind of fascinating really.
Their features can be eerily human, but usually in a more comical way, like a grumpy-faced old cartoon grandpa, rather than that spooky kind of human face you sometimes see other animals sporting.
The blob fish has a big gelatinous head with huge lips and small eyes, and often a particularly displeased expression.
You’d probably look a bit cross if people kept making jokes about your face as well.
These unfortunate fish belong to a family of sea creatures usually known by their common name fathead sculpins.
They just can’t catch a break.
However, the blobfish is perfectly adapted to where it dwells.
Its gelatinous appearance is the result of having very few bones.
It lives at depths of up to 2000 feet, and the pressure down there would actually crush any other type of body.
So the blobfish’s wobbly body doesn’t seem so silly after all, does it number six psychedelic frog fish.
These funky fish live in the coral seas around Indonesia and, like other frog fish, these creatures have some unusual features.
Now, like our other frog fish friend, these psychedelic frog fish don’t actually swim around in the water.
They hang out at the bottom and walk on the sea floor.
This species is also known to use its fins to push itself up off the floor and hop along as well.
Their trippy name comes from the unique patterns on their skin.
These really are unique as well, like a fingerprint.
The Orange and white swirling patterns on a psychedelic frog fish are one-of-a-kind markings that also help to keep these creatures super camouflaged.
The camouflage helps to keep the frogfish hidden from predators, but is also useful when they’re out and about waiting to ambush an unsuspecting passing snack.
The psychedelic frogfish’s future is uncertain.
Climate change and the damage that’s being done to coral reefs has made this one of the rarest fish in the world, and if things don’t improve for the fish and its habitat soon, these fascinating creatures could vanish from our seas forever.
Number five: : the Oppa.
The Opa, also known as the moon fish, has a unique ability: it can actually generate its own heat, and in the chilly ocean it’s got to have some real advantages.
These fish are orange colored, with brighter fins and more pale bodies which fade to a rosy white, with spots on their bellies.
They grow to about the size of a car tire and are frequently found in the seas around Hawaii, although they can pop up elsewhere.
The Oppa’s ability is all but unique amongst fish.
They’re able to generate and regulate their own body temperature to keep it at about 10 degrees above the surrounding waters.
This is a particularly clever adaptation, as it allows these fish to travel through the icy water while keeping a warm core.
This does ensure that the Opa’s swimming ability and vital organs are insulated and therefore unaffected by the cold water, which makes them more efficient and speedy predators, although there are a few fish that are able to heat their extremities, the opa is the only known fully warm-blooded fish.
THE TOOTHPICK FISH
Number four , the toothpick fish.
No doubt you’ll have heard of this one, even if you didn’t know what it was called- a tiny fish that lives in the Amazon River.
The toothpick fish, or Kandaru, is most famous for being attracted to, swimming into and setting up camp in a human being’s urethra.
There are always references to this little fish in movies about the Amazon.
We’ve all heard them, but interestingly enough, there are not actually that many genuine accounts of the pea-loving Kandaru actually embedding itself in an unfortunate appendage.
However, the mythology follows it around nonetheless, these teeny-weeny fishes are actually amongst the few identified parasitic fish on the planet, and when they aren’t found dashing up a stream of urine, these fish usually prefer to make their home in the snuggly warm gills of other fish, where they pitch up their camp by poking out a load of spines in order to hold them in place.
This is the process that makes them particularly painful if they end up in a person’s more sensitive areas, but the host fish does have a nasty experience in store as well.
The little toothpick is about to nibble a hole and literally suck the blood of its victim.
The name toothpick does make them sound skinny, but it actually means really sharp and pointy as well.
And here’s a note: if you do ever find yourself in the tricky situation with a kangaroo swimming up your willy, pulling it out.
Pulling it out can result in your junk being all torn up, and if it gets all the way in, well, it’s gonna suck your blood from there.
So maybe just stay away from the amazon completely.
THE GOBLIN SHARK
Number three: , the goblin shark.
This deep sea dwelling goblin shark is like the nightmare combination of frightening alien face and squashed dinosaur shark.
It’s actually horrific.
However, nobody should judge something on its appearance.
That’s just not fair.
So are these guys as scary as they look?
Well, with a long snout on the top and a set of very sharp teeth on the bottom, this shark does seem quite equipped enough to do some predatory stuff.
It’s got a weird technique for catching its prey as well.
The goblin shark can eject its jaws and send them out in a dangerous snapping motion in order to grab the passing prey, and then it’s just simply going to reel its jaws back in and scoff the catch.
This long-nosed shark is actually- and mercifully- much more lazy than many other sharks.
Its sluggish behavior does mean that it’s not likely to expend a whole lot of energy in a high speed pursuit, and, given one look at the freaky fish, no doubt you would be able to outswim it on fear alone.
I’m glad that this one’s finished, because these fish give me the creeps.
Number two: the lionfish
This spectacular fish has definitely got a unique style.
The lionfish has been a big favorite of aquarium owners for many years.
Its frilly fancy looks have captured many fans.
However, the fish is actually a bit of a menace.
So the lionfish is actually native to the Indo-pacific region, but lately this ornate ocean dweller has been popping up all over the place, and that’s definitely a problem.
Now considered an invasive species in the coastal waters of the United States, southeast and the Caribbean, these fish are doing more harm than good to the delicate ecosystems in those areas.
The lionfish is a predatory species and, since settling into new waters, has been systematically scoffing all kinds of creatures that it has no business interfering with in the first place.
The lionfish is known to be doing untold damage to the balance of saline on the reefs, and they eat too many parrotfish, which means that with fewer parrotfish to eat it, there is too much seaweed going around.
Invasive species are always going to be a problem, but right now, with all the other pressures on the marine environment from climate change, overfishing and pollution, an invading greedy creature hovering up all the food may just be too much to handle.
Number one: puffer fish.
Puffer fish are the second most poisonous vertebrate on the planet.
Even in second place, though.
These fish each contain enough deadly tetrodotoxin to kill 30 humans, so i reckon that’s second place rating is basically irrelevant.
When it all comes down to it, they’re named the puffer fish for the weird way that they protect themselves from would-be predators in the wild.
They can actually puff themselves up to make it extremely difficult for a predator to keep, hold or to sink their teeth in.
In reality, this defense mechanism probably saves the predators lives as often as the puffer fishes, because just one nibble can kill.
Although their reputation as a super deadly, poisonous fish is extremely well known, there are still plenty of people out there who want to eat the thing.
Crazy, perhaps, but true.
In Japan, the fish is actually a delicacy, but it absolutely must be prepared by a highly skilled and certified person, because if you make one little wrong, tiny cut when preparing the puffer fish, whoever eats it is going to be a goner, and this is serious business.
Although there’s approximately one death per year from ingesting this delicacy, these are almost always caused by people who attempt to prepare the fish themselves rather than paying the high restaurant prices for an expert to do it properly.
What an amazing, diverse place the ocean is.
Some of these fish are actually super strange, but what else might be lurking out there in the depths?
What amazing creatures do you think are still left to be discovered?
Let me know in the comments below.
Also check out the other cool stuff showing up on the screen, and i’ll see you next time.