Ugly Fish of the World

In this article we explore the ugly fish of the world. These range from gulper eels to blob fish, with each creature being more ghastly than the last.

Without a doubt, the creatures on this list are some of ugliest fish you’ll ever see in the world’s seas.

No matter your geographic location, you’re never too far from one of these strange creatures that live in oceans all over the world. Read on to learn more about worlds 13 ugliest fish – in no particular order.

ugly fish
One Ugly Fish

Blob Fish 

The blobfish, or, Psychrolutes marcidus, is an odd looking fish that lives in deep ocean water. It’s certainly one ugly fish. The fish has gained some notoriety due to its appearance and is primarily found in the waters surrounding Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand.

The fish has often been referred to as the “world’s ugliest animal. The blobfish got its unsavory moniker from the Ugly Animal Preservation Society.

This ugly fish has a jelly-like body, large nose, small eyes, and lips similar to humans. Its gelatinous shape allows the fish to float just above the floor of the ocean and use its mouth to suck in nearby prey like shellfish, crabs, sea pens, crustaceans and more.

blob fish
Blob Fish

Wolf Fish 

The wolffish is an infamous, unique-looking creature that inhabits the North Atlantic Ocean. Wolf fish have a rather ugly appearance, ranging in colour from olive green to blue-grey.

Their most distinguishing feature is their dorsal fin which runs along their entire back. In addition, they are known for having four to six fang-like teeth at the front of their mouths with other rows of smaller teeth behind them used for crushing food.

The devilfish is also known by the names wolf eel, and seawolf. One of their most intriguing features is the natural antifreeze that their bodies produce to keep their blood flowing. Their homes are chilly, making this capacity essential. The largest wolffish ever recorded was 5 ft or 1.5 m long and weighed almost 40 lbs or 18 kg.

Unfortunately, due to overfishing and the practice of bycatch, in which un-targeted aquatic creatures are drawn into nets, they have a decreasing population.

wolf fish
Wolf Fish

Telescope Fish

The telescope fish is a one-of-a-kind, brightly colored fish that may be found in deep-sea tropical and subtropical seas. It is considered to be an ugly fish species.

The telescope fish is a deep-sea dweller that lives far from sunlight and the surface. Telescope Fish has binocular eyes that protrude from its head like binoculars to make up for it.

The fish has developed eyes that are sensitive to the faintest light levels in order to hunt prey in the ocean’s most mesopelagic twilight zones. The telescope fish uses its unique eyes to find food.

They swim vertically in the direction of their prey or predators, gaining a better vantage point to see movement from above. By monitoring both food and potential danger, the fish increase their chances of survival.

telescope fish eyes
Telescope Fish

Viperfish 

Viperfish (Chauliodus sloani) are easily identified by their long, needle-like teeth and lower jaw. Some might even say they look scary!

Viperfish range from 12-23 inches or 30 to 60 cm in length. They live at temperate or tropical depths of 1,000 to 5,000 meters below the surface where water temperatures average a chilly four degrees celsius.

One of the various fish on this list that may attract their prey with light-emitting organs or photophores is the moon goby. They’re found along the flank and at the end of each dorsal fin spine. The light flashes on and off, much like an anglerfish.

Viperfish are can be green, black or any color in between. Their lifespan is unknown but scientists believe they can live up to 40 years in the wild. They’re covered with a substance that looks like scales but its purpose is unknown.

viperfish
Viperfish

Barreleye Fish 

The barreleye fish is an ugly fish which dwells in deep sea environments. Did you know that spook fish is just another term for these common fish?

The teardrop jack is a freshwater fish that lives in the temperate seas of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. The eyes are shaped like tubes or barrels, and they are referred upward so that the fish may spot prey more easily.

Their skulls are transparent, which is rather amazing. This implies that they may look up through their own heads using their tube-like eyes. The majority of species in this fish are tiny, ranging from 6 to 20 centimeters or 2 to 7.9 inches long.

barreleye ugly fish
Barreleye Fish

Whitemargin Stargazer

The whitemargin stargazer (Uranoscopus sulphureus) is a species of bottom-dwelling fish that has eyes on the top of its head, like other members of its genus. To catch food, they bury themselves in the sand and wait to pounce on passing prey.

Whitemargin stargazers have significantly large heads with upwards-facing eyes and upward-facing mouths, making them ideal hunting bodies – though, not necessarily the most attractive!

whitemargin stargazer
Stargazing

Cookiecutter Shark 

The cookiecutter shark, or Isistius brasiliensis, is a small parasitic shark that gets its name from its habit of biting round pieces out of other animals and even non-organic material.

These sharks have small sharp teeth that are perfect for cutting through flesh and bone. Cookiecutter sharks have been observed biting submarines, undersea cables, and even people. It is considered to be one of the ugliest fish of the seas.

It’s a facultative ectoparasite that acts as an ambush predator. It migrates up from around two miles below the ocean’s surface every day, which is fascinating. The shark is quite tiny when fully grown; it can grow to only 22 inches or 56 centimeters in length when mature.

cookiecutter shark
Cookiecutter Shark

Angler Fish 

The unique light dangling from the front of the striped angler fish’s head is rather strange. The angler fish is a popular sea creature owing to the film Finding Nemo. It’s also one of the ugliest creatures around. Its distinctive light protruding organ (known as an esca) on its head has earned it a reputation.

This animal has an oddly shaped body and a big mouth with gigantic, sharp teeth. Most females grow to be about eight inches long while the males only get to one inch in length. To mate, the two sexes fuse together until they become one entity.

Although the angler fish may be found in a variety of waters across the globe, they are unpredictable. A portion of the population is pelagic, which means they dwell away from the ocean floor, and another part is benthic, which means they reside closer to the bottom.

angler fish
The Spooky Angler Fish

Goblin Shark 

The goblin shark is a rare shark. Its unusual and frightening appearance has been compared to that of a fossil. It has pink-toned skin, as well as a distinctively shaped snout.

The goblin shark is easily identifiable by its protruding snout and jaws, which are lined with sharp teeth. It has a slim body and compact fins, making it adept at swimming through the water to find prey.

They can reach a length of 10-13 feet and are rarely seen by humans. The majority of this is due to the fact that these sharks dwell so far beneath the sea, about 100 meters or 330 feet down. These sharks are thought to be able to dive to depths of 4,270 feet or 1,300 meters, according on scientists’ beliefs.

The goblin sharks’ reproductive processes are just as strange as their appearance. Although this has yet to be confirmed, researchers think that the shark’s embryos develop from the consumption of unhatched eggs.

ugliest fish goblin shark
Goblin Shark

Wobbegong

The wobbegong is a type of carpet shark that prefers to live in tropical waters around the Pacific Ocean and the eastern Indian Ocean.

The scientific name for the gray dangerous shark is Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos. They are named for an Australian Aborigine word that means “shaggy beard.” These refer to the formations beneath their chins, which look like beads.

They’re also covered in a strange texture that allows them to blend in with their surroundings. These designs could be described as carpets.

Bottom-dwelling sharks, they spend most of their time resting on the seafloor. They only grow to be around four feet in length and have thin teeth that help them catch prey.

wobbegong
The Wobbegong

Red Handfish 

The red handfish is sometimes dubbed one of the ugliest fish in the world’s oceans. It’s also quite fascinating. The fish also has a unique mode of travel.

The fins of certain fish in the Goby family, such as mudskippers, move in a way that causes them to appear as if they’re walking across reefs. This is something the red handfish does natively on two small coral reef habitats; however, it’s now an endangered species.

red handfish
Red Handfish

Gulper Eel 

The gulper eel (Eurypharynx pelecanoide) is also known as the pelican gulper or umbrella mouth-gulper, and it has the appearance of a small pelican. They dwell in deep seas and are seldom observed by humans.

They may be found in all seas from the artic to the more tropical vortices of Hawaii. The lack of pressure distorts their bodies when they are removed from their surroundings, making it difficult to describe their characteristics accurately.

Scientists are certain that the mouth of a anglerfish is large and hinged, taking up around a fourth of its body. Additionally, its eyes are small in comparison to other deep-sea ocean creatures. Lastly, it has a long thin tail much like a whip.

gulper eel
Gulper Eel

Monkfish

The Monkfish, also known as goosefish, fishing frogs, sea devils, and anglers, are a type of bottom-dwelling fish that belongs to the Lophiidae family. It’s an ugly fish which is also edible.

Monkfish, a fish with mottled skin, a huge head and mouth, tiny eyes, and fang-like teeth that is not only one of the world’s most repulsive creatures but also one of the planet’s most ravenous predators, consume everything that comes their way, including other Monkfish.

The Monkfish may look like a horrifying flesh-eating sea creature, but it is actually quite delicious. It can be found in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean and is commonly eaten in Europe. In Japan, however, its liver is considered to be a delicacy.

ugly and edible monkfish
Monkfish

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