The myth of the ugly blobfish

Here we have the common Internet blobfish, recently voted World's Ugliest Animal.

But wait! At Smithsonian, Colin Schultz has made a very good case for why the blobfish doesn't deserve its unattractive reputation. This isn't about beauty being subjective (although some might find the above picture more cute than ugly). Instead, it's about atmospheric pressure, and what happens to a fish removed from its natural, deep-sea, high-pressure habitat.

Here is what the blobfish really looks like, before somebody took him to the surface and snapped an embarrassing photo:

Notable Replies

  1. Darn photographers (probably TMZ) always publishing the most unflattering shots... Obviously his left hand side is his "good side".

  2. I've always believed the blobfish was getting a raw deal, getting its picture taken in less than ideal circumstances, but why are we even voting on something like "the ugliest animal"?

    People are free to do as they wish, but shouldn't we reserve the responsibility of voting for something that has real relevance to our lives, like who will represent us in government, or the new color for M&Ms?

  3. I thought that the photo originally went viral not because the critter was especially ugly but because, from that angle, it looks a lot like the cartoon character Ziggy.

  4. The point is to draw attention to endangered species that aren't cute. Blobfish live up to 1,200 m under the sea and look ugly when people come into contact with them, so it's easy to ignore the fact that they (and other ugly or otherwise objectionable species like striped hyenas and vultures) are an important part of the ecosystem and should be protected.

  5. Jenny says:

    I found this picture at the Australian Museum website.

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