Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Not-So-Fab Five

Confession time. Woke up later than yesterday. Yeah, I did it. I thought, "What the heck. I might as well! No schedule set in stone = extra sleep time for this girl." And, let me tell you, it was awesome. I should do this more often! I even had extra time to think about the next few blogs for y'all. So in the end everyone wins!
What did I think up this time, you ask? Well, be prepared. I have decided to do my own version of a fab five countdown, but with a twist. This countdown will be the top five ugliest (in my opinion) marine creatures in existence. And while I'm at it, I'll throw in some cool facts. It'll be relatively hard for me since I automatically react to marine animals as cute, but I'll try really hard to find the ugliest. This is going to be so much fun! Get ready...

#5: The Frilled Shark

The frilled shark has to be in the top five! Just look at its eel-like appearance. To me it's more scary or frightening than "ugly." It's called the frilled shark because it can flare its gills out to make this intimidating look. Usually this guy lives in the depths of the deep ocean, contrary to the picture above. Actually, this shark was thought to have been extinct. In fact, people call the frilled shark prehistoric. In '07 a fisherman saw this creature and it was transferred to a Japanese marine park soon after. 
This just goes to show that we don't know too much about our oceans! Or know as much as we think we do at least. 

#4: The Goblin Shark

Okay, I know so far the first two ugliest have been sharks. Don't think I consider sharks ugly, though. It's not my fault. Some shark species are extremely odd-looking in appearance. And by odd-looking I'm trying not to say ugly. 
Getting back on track, the goblin shark! Ugly, isn't it? We're just getting started...This shark isn't like the rest of its cousins. Most sharks are muscular and fast-moving. The goblin is more flabby and slow. It lives in the deep ocean like the frilled shark. Fact: the deep ocean is less explored than the surface of the moon, so who knows what all really goes on down there. 
How does it hunt, you ask? Because of the way its body is made, it can stay still in the water unlike most other sharks. (Other sharks would suffocate if they stopped swimming because they need to actively pass water through their gills to breathe.) The goblin shark literally hangs motionless until something unknowingly swims across it. Then, SNAP! Lights out.

#3: The Fangtooth

Ooh, the name itself strikes a shudder in your spine and causes children to cry for their mothers! Where do you think it lives? In the deep sea! Spoiler alert: all of the not-so-fab five are deep sea creatures. I didn't actually mean for that to happen, but let's face it, there are just some ugly fish in the ocean's depths.
This toothy creature lives so far down in the ocean, it's ridiculous. They live 6,500-16,500 feet down! Woah! That pressure would completely crush us like we were a grape if we ventured down there. Astounding, isn't it? They're only about 6 inches big. However, with those fangs, they have the largest teeth relative to body size of any fish. All they have to do for hunting is to suck in their prey and impale them with their fangs. If I had those teeth, hunting would be pretty easy. Chewing would be hard, though...

#2: The Hairy Angler

Another deep sea animal! What a surprise. They're called hairy anglers because, well, they look hairy. With those long hair-like projections coming off of their body, they have extremely heightened senses of their surroundings.
A male angler fish.
Side note. Sorry, I have to. You'll thank me later. Anglers themselves, not just hairy anglers, have the most peculiar way of reproduction. When I first heard this, I was mind-blown for a few days. The anglers you and I see are all females. The males are much smaller. Like almost microscopic. They don't even look similar to the females. Their sole purpose in life is to find a female. When they do, they bite into the female's skin and eventually fuse themselves to the female until the male just looks like a growth on its companion. The male completely degenerates except for it reproductive organs. I know, it's fantastic. Whenever the female wants to reproduce, she can. She now controls the male completely. And she can also have multiple males on her as well (up to 6). 
Sorry for the side note. Anyways, the hairy angler. Hunting would be an interesting event to watch. Their lure that develops from its spine protrudes from its skin and "lures in" prey with bioluminescence and movement. Then it sucks in the prey and has a nice 5-star dinner. No matter what the size of the prey (even bigger than the predator), the angler's highly-extendable stomach can find room.

 #1: The Blob Fish

Da da da dahhh! The ugliest fish I have ever seen! And probably the ugliest fish you have ever seen. And yet another deep sea creature. It should be an alien. If you think about it, though, all deep ocean creatures are somewhat aliens. Actually, the blob fish looks more like an ugly man...
This "fish" looks like a blob, is called a blob, and also acts like a blob. Whatever it can get its mouth on, it'll eat. It exerts almost no energy whatsoever to find a certain prey. It'll just sit there eating what floats by its face. 
Even though it isn't being eaten by humans, it's now considered in danger of going extinct. That's why it looks so glum! Fishermen for lobsters and crabs (which live at the same depths as the blob) have brought the blob fish up with their catches. Over-fishing is causing scientists to worry about the population levels. What a sad life for a sad fish!

I hope you liked the countdown! It was fun for me! And maybe you can look up some other ugly fish. You can trust me when I say there are many.


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