A-z - Animals

What does a blobfish look like underwater and under pressure?

Keep reading to watch this amazing video

Blobfish are deep-sea fish found in waters off the coast of Australia and Tasmania. They usually grow to about a foot long. However, some got bigger! If you want to know why these fish look like clumps, and what they really look like underwater, this article is for you!

What does a blobfish look like underwater? Read on now to find out the truth.

What does a blobfish look like underwater?

blob fish
Blobfish look like normal fish in their natural environment.

© World-Wide-Photography/Shutterstock.com

What does a blobfish look like underwater? Blobfish look like normal fish in their natural environment. They have large bulbous heads and huge jaws. Their tails also taper, making them look more like tadpoles than fish. Their skin sags due to the water pressure.

The fish is named for its distinctive body shape, reminiscent of clumps of jelly. But they're not that big of a clump in the depths of the ocean. Blobfish use the water pressure at great depths to maintain their size. Strong water pressure helps develop their tadpole-like shape. This is all thanks to their reclusive lifestyle.

Do blobfish have muscles or bones?

Blobfish have no muscles or bones. They don't even have teeth! Instead of bones, these fish have soft structures. Some people report that the bones of this fish are soft, but this is not the case. Their structure is soft and completely boneless.

Not having muscles is a problem for fish that need to swim around. But blobfish doesn't mind being a couch potato. They are lazy fish and don't expend much energy. Instead of hunting, they wait for any treats to come to their door. Some of blobfish's favorite foods include small crustaceans found on the ocean floor.

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What does a blobfish look like out of the water?

When out of the water, the blobfish's body becomes gelatinous, vesicular, and flabby.

© Lack of Author Information/Public Domain – License

When out of the water, the blobfish's body becomes gelatinous, vesicular, and flabby. This is because there is no water pressure to hold the fish together. The blobfish's eyes, mouth, and nose have become more prominent, making it look like a blob alien. Photos of blobfish with oversized noses are often seen. But the photos are deceiving! Blobfish don't have big noses at all.

Do blobfish have normal noses?

In the photo, the blobfish appears to have a large nose. But that's the effect of the fisherman's net pressing down on their jelly-like bodies. Their thick gelatinous skin thins and becomes transparent as their shape approaches the surface. Without water pressure, blobfish don't look like their natural form. That's why fish are cuter underwater!

What does a baby blobfish look like underwater?

Have you ever seen a baby blobfish? they are cute! The blobfish emerges from its ovary and looks like a shrunken-down version of the adult blobfish. Young animals have large heads, bulbous jaws, and tapered tails. Even as babies, their bodies are designed to help them float easily in deep water without using powerful strokes or muscles.

blob fish on water

If you pull a tiny blobfish out of the water, it will deflate. The once cute tadpole shape becomes a melting ball. Like their parents, blobfish require the pressure of the deep ocean to maintain their form. This is one reason why you should never keep a blobfish as a pet. They cannot survive far from their natural deep water habitat.

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blobfish natural habitat

Deep-sea spotted cuckoo (Psychrolutes phrictus)
Blobfish live in the depths of the ocean.

© NOAA/MBARI / Public Domain – License

Blobfish live deep in the ocean, and we mean very deep. You won't find any of these fish until you've dived at least 1600 feet deep. These fish need the deepest waters if they want to keep their shape. Some of these deep-dwelling jellyfish even live at depths of 4,000 feet. The pressure is so high there that there aren't any predators around to eat the blobfish.

Blobfish Prejudice: Fear of the Deep

Blobfish aren't scary or ugly, but some people don't care about them. Why? Research shows that people may act like they don't care when the truth is that they're afraid. Their apparent indifference is a subconscious fear of the deep. Stories about sea monsters still lurk in the minds of many of us. Thankfully, as we learn more about deep sea life, we can increase public awareness of conservation efforts! Blobfish aren't scary; they're wonderful creatures worth saving.

How do blobfish survive in the harsh environment?

Neophrynichthys marcidus = Psychrolutes marcidus
Blobfish have no known natural enemies, but may be threatened by destructive human activities.

© Alan Riverstone McCulloch (1885-1925) / Public Domain – License

These flaccid fish have no known natural predators, but may be threatened by destructive human activities. Activities such as deep-sea fishing or bottom trawling endanger blobfish populations. Trawling is a method of deep-sea fishing that involves dragging a heavy object along the surface of the floor near underwater sediments. These areas are where nutrients accumulate and are the main feeding grounds for blobfish. When a fisherman casts his net, he may accidentally catch a blobfish.

How do blobfish survive extreme water pressure?

How do blobfish survive extreme water pressure? They have specially designed bodies.
Unlike other fish that use air-filled sacs for balance, blobfish do not have a swim bladder. If they did, it would implode if it filled with air. Instead, their bodies consist mostly of jelly-like flesh. Their jelly composition helps them withstand high pressures because water is less dense than air.

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How do blobfish reproduce?

Another advantage of the blobfish is its incredible ability to reproduce. Blobfish reproduction is a unique phenomenon. They lay large broods, 100-1000 eggs at a time, which they guard closely while the parents stay nearby to care for them.

Final Thoughts: What Does a Blobfish Look Like Underwater?

What does a blobfish look like underwater? Now you know! Blobfish may look speckled on land, but in water, they have a normal shape—albeit an odd one. Even as babies, blobfish have the same shape as their parents.

In their natural environment, blobfish look like oversized tadpoles, with large eyes and a large mouth. Although they lack scales, these deep-sea dwellers have a special gel-like skin that helps them survive.

Their jelly-like skin also helps them maintain their form in the depths of the ocean. These creatures are professional survivalists. Some blobfish end up living over 100 years old!

So next time you hear someone say blobfish look blistered, you can correct them! Blobfish aren't blobs — they're cute. Check out the articles below to continue building your expertise on these awesome fish!


  • Ever seen a blobfish?
  • Blobfish Conservation Status: Are Blobfish Endangered?
  • Do blobfish have bones? their internal interpretation
  • Blobfish Predators: What Eats Blobfish?