The blobfish may look like Uncle Fester, but is actually prone to the seas near the Australian ocean. Planning a vacation to the land down under? Make sure you don’t step on one of these squishy fishies. Like its name would suggest, the blobfish is truly a lazy bum of a fish that doesn’t even go out of its way to eat, only eating whatever happens to float by. In 2013, it was named the “World’s Ugliest Animal.” (Sadly, this cool species is not found in any aquarium since it’s species is currently endangered.)
2. Mola Mola
Speaking of terrifying animals, meet the Mola Mola, also known as the Ocean Sunfish. Despite such a cheery and sunny name, this ugly fish is actually the heaviest known bony fish, weighing in at an average of 2,200 pounds.
If you dare, you can get up-close and personal with a Mola Mola at the Monterey Bay aquarium in Monterey, CA!
3. Barreleye Fish
While the Ocean Sunfish is clearly misnamed, the barreleye fish, also known as the spook fish, gets its name from its barrel-shaped eyes, used to detect prey. Despite its name, the barreleye does not have ‘tunnel vision,’ but can rotate its eyes within its creepily transparent head.
According to Huffpo, this crazy creature is also on view at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, CA.
4. Fangtooth Fish
Like the barreleye, the Fangtooth fish is named for its most noticeable attribute, an impressive rack of intimidating looking teeth. In fact, it has the largest teeth of any fish in relation to its bodysize and due to its pure ugliness, it has become known as the “ogrefish.”
While the Fangtooth fish may have the largest fish teeth out there, the scariest fish teeth may be the needly, out-of-mouth fish teeth of the viperfish. This saltwater menace is one of the fiercest predators of the waters, attracting prety through its light-producing organ before attacking it.
Like the viperfish, the anglerfish is characterized by both its ability to attract prey with its light-producing organ as well as some flat out nasty teeth. The anglerfish also has one of the most bizarre reproductive methods in the entire animal kingdom, as the males mature, lose their digestive system and latch on to females to avoid death by starvation. HALP.
7. Northern Stargazer
Why is it looking at me like that?! While the Northern Stargazer’s name make it sounds like some sweet, cuddly hipster fish, it’s actually the polar opposite. This hideous fish buries itself in the ocean food, using jolts of electricity to jolt prey before opening its giant mouth to devour small fish and crustaceans whole. (Scuba diving vacation? Thanks but no thanks.)
8. Sarcastic Fringehead
Like the Northern Stargazer, the Sarcastic Fringehead is a ferocious fish with a funny name. These fish look normal when unthreatened, but as soon as they feel threatened, these fish open their ginormous mouths. If two come into contact for a turf war, they open their gaping jaws and literally mouth wrestle…and not in a romantic way.
9. Giant Isopod
The Isopod is basically a giant bug of the ocean, and the source of my nightmares this evening. They can grow up to 16 inches, growing that large due to a weird water phenomenon known as “deep sea giganticism.” Like smaller bugs you may know, they can roll into balls if they feel threatened and they live a single life, probably due to the fact that they are too hideous to even live with each other. These giant ocean bugs can’t be found in zoos or aquariums…but do you really wanna be up-close and personal with them?
10. Red-Lipped Batfish
While the isopod may resemble a big bug, the batfish is named such due to its resemblance to a bat. Additionally, it walks along the ocean floor, rather than swimming, making its even more of a sea freak. It also appears to be wearing way too much lipstick, perhaps to overcompensate for the rest of its ugly mug.
Wanna see one of these creatures live? You’re out of luck. The red-lipped batfish is not a desirable aquarium fish because of its predatory nature. Also, it is a deep sea fish and thus won’t be hangin’ out at your local aquarium or zoo.
11. Tongue-Eating Louse
Although the red-lipped batfish is one sort of ocean freak, the tongue-eating louse is actually what nightmares are made of. This creature enters fish through the gills, changes sex while living parasitically within the fish and then attaches itself to the fish’s tongue, sucking out all of its blood until the tongue falls off. Um, gross.
12. Terrible Claw Lobster
These little lobsters were only discovered in 2007, but their eerie colors and different sized claws automatically make them weird. I don’t think these will be on the menu at Red Lobster anytime soon.
13. Water Bear
While the name waterbear may be deceiving of size, these creatures are actually tiny cellular beings that have four pairs of short legs and walk in a way similar to a bear. They can survive basically anthing, including being frozen in ice, extremely low and high pressure and no water for a decade. Basically, these things give cockroaches a run for their money.
14. Vampire Squid
While the Vampire Squid may appear to simply be a squid dressed up for Halloween, it’s actually a small squid of only about 6 inches. It has a webbing of skin that connects eight arms, giving the creature the appearance of a resident of Transylvania, rather than the deep sea. You won’t find a vampire squid at the aquarium, but this devilish creature does appear in pop culture. In the cartoon Futurama’s episode “Naturama,” Zoidberg appears as a stylized vampire squid.
15. Pacific Blackdragon
Like the Vampire Squid with its cloak, the Pacific Blackdragon is best known for its length, as females of the species can grow to two feet in length. The males of the species, however, are unable to eat, only grow to approximately three inches and die immediately after mating. (How romantic.)
The Chimaera is a fish thing also sometimes known as a ghost shark, a ratfish, a spookfish and a rabbitfiht. It is often believed to be one of the oldest fish in existence, related to the sharks they split apart via evolution nearly 400 million years ago.
17. Goblin Shark
Speaking of sharks, this is the goblin shark, which is one of the oldest sharks ever, often described as a “living fossil.” This hideous creature has a long ironing board shaped snout, to which its bottom jaw can snap forward to reach like scissors on its prey. Only two have ever been spotted in the U.S.
18. Frilled Shark
Like the goblin shark, the frilled shark is an extremely old creature, often referred to as “prehistoric.” It is rarely seen and thus not considered a threat to humans, despite its giant three-pointed teeth. It resembles some sort of shark-serpent hybrid that would be the perfect wingman for Ursula…poor Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I can only imagine her nasty, untimely demise if she encountered Ursula with this vicious beast by her side. The frilled shark can’t survive in captivity. This 5.3-foot specimen pictured above was found in shallow water in Japan in 2007 and moved to an aquarium, but it perished just hours after capture.