The depths of the ocean can be as weird and unusual as outer space.
There are hydrothermal vents spewing black smoke at incredibly high temperatures, there are wispy-thin jellyfishes, bioluminescent and bobbing in the darkness, entire coral reefs with teeming with so much life that most people don’t realize, as well as clusters of amoeba, each one the size of a grape.
But even if you don’t venture down too deep, there are already pretty weird fishes in the various layers of the ocean, some of which can be seen, some of which cannot. Here are some of the weird fishes that actually exist.
|Ocean sunfish / Photo by: Fred Hsu via Wikimedia Commons|
This big disk of a fish is known for its huge size. At 14 feet, this large and majestic “giant hunk of weird” weighs over 5,000 pounds. With its scientific name “Mola Mola,” this fish is also known to expel 300 million eggs into the ocean, and their offspring look to be more similar to pufferfishes. According to Southern Fried Science, a website discussing marine science and its exploration, this pufferfish-like stage only lasts for a while because, as the baby sunfishes grow, they develop those iconic clavuses, the giant rudders most noticeable on this species.
|Stonefish / Photo by: World Atlas|
Known as the most venomous fish in the world, the Stonefish is, quite literally, a fish that looks like a stone. While you may be thinking that perhaps its stone-like appearance is a sign that it has no other defense mechanism aside from camouflage, think again. According to World Atlas, a website aiming to provide informative and quality content on the realm of geography, the stonefish is notoriously difficult to spot, but if you do, make sure you don’t step on one as its venom is pretty fatal.
|Pacific barreleye fish / Photo by: Lusanaherandraton via Wikimedia Commons|
If you could see inside the head of the people around you, what will you see? Will you see the wrinkle of gray matter, the back and forth of thoughts, the firing of synapses in real time? If you saw inside the head of the Pacific Barreleye, you’ll be weirded out for sure.
Seeing the barreleye as opposed to really knowing its face is sure to give anyone whiplash. When you see the transparent section on its head, it feels like looking inside someone’s mind, right? Only, you’re not. The transparent section is actually sac filled with liquid to protect the two green spheres inside. And those green spheres are the barreleye's eyes. The ‘eyes’ that you think you see above its mouth are actually nostrils.
|Sheepshead fish / Photo by: Linda Tanner via Wikimedia Commons|
Looking for more weird fishes? What about this one with a complete set of teeth? That’s right, say hello to the sheepshead, a fish that’s got an actual set of chompers. According to Becky Crew, a scientist based in Sydney, this fish can typically grow “well-defined incisors sitting at the front of the jaw, and molars set in three rows in the upper jaw and two rows in the lower jaw” once it reaches adulthood.
Most fishes have soft mouths; if not, they have incisive or serrated teeth for chewing prey. Not the sheepshead. Instead, its weird teeth give it a unique culinary experience. Since they are human-like, these fish get to eat “different prey items throughout its development.”
|Fangtooth fish / Photo by: World Atlas|
Swimming at a depth of 5,000 feet under the surface, the fangtooth is what a nightmare might look like if it were a fish. According to World Atlas, although this might look like it’ll fit right in on the Scare Floor of Monsters Incorporated, it is underwhelmingly small. Perhaps this is the reason for its large maw and its sharp teeth.
These fishes have all the weirdness, though, with its mismatched tooth sizes, ridged body, too-large head for its 16-centimeter-body, this fish is relatively harmless to humans and well, are not visible to most of us either way, as it is a deep-sea fish that thrives in darkness.
|Parrotfish / Photo by: Adona9 via Wikimedia Commons|
It is pretty obvious where this fish got its name. This colorful little fish may remind all of us about that parrot we always wanted at the pet store that always repeats words when we say something to it, but the more interesting bit about the parrotfish not many people know, according to Southern Fried Science, is that it excretes sand after every meal.
The article further states that this sand poop is not just any kind of poop -- parrotfish excretions are technically “tiny grains of hard coral” that eventually get washed up onto shore and become “white” sand.