Original story at news.com.au
THERE are almost 28,000 known species of fish in our rivers and oceans, and every single one has a weird face.
There are no exceptions.
With that in mind, we've waded through photos of the world's strangest fish and picked out our top ten.
Think we've missed one? Add your suggestions in the comments section below [registered users only].
1. THE JAWFISH
This fish hatches eggs inside its mouth to protect its newborns from predators, because that yawning chasm of a gob obviously screams safety. Don't worry, the jawfish typically eats plankton, not human swimmers.
2. THE WOLFFISH
You might expect the wolffish to be a bit of a beast, especially since it can grow to more than 2 metres in length, but it's actually pretty meek. The wolffish hides out in nooks and caves along the ocean floor, feeding on hard-shelled invertebrates such as clams. Judging from this photo, it could use a good dentist.
3. THE COFFINFISH
This rather unattractive creature is found off the east coast of Australia, where it likes to occupy muddy areas of the ocean floor. It's technically a type of "sea toad", with a flabby body and a lure that can be hidden in its snout.
4. THE SNAKEHEAD FISH
The snakehead is a superstar on the small screen. It's featured in TV shows like CSI: NY, Frankenfish, Swarm of the Snakehead and River Monsters. As you may have noticed, none of these programs have an optimistic vibe. But it's not all bad. The snakehead is a delicacy in Burma and Vietnam. Eat it before it eats you, your family and your dearest friends.
5. THE FANGTOOTH
The fangtooth is another scary-looking specimen, but it's actually quite harmless to humans. The fish's name comes from its "fanglike" teeth, which are disproportionately large in comparison to its tiny body. So why does the fangtooth have such a cranky face? Our best guess is short fish syndrome.
6. THE PARROTFISH
This fish is disgusting. Some parrotfish species protect themselves at night by secreting a "mucus cocoon" before going to sleep. The cocoon surrounds the fish and masks its scent, which is all well and good, but then you remember that said cocoon is made of MUCUS. Imagine snorting yourself a snot blanket at night.
7. THE STONEFISH
Rocks can be dangerous if thrown really hard at someone's face, but they're nothing compared to fish that look like rocks. The stonefish is one of the most venomous fish in the world, and it's right on our doorstep. Stonefish venom can even be fatal to humans if left untreated. So, mind your step.
8. THE GOBLIN SHARK
Whoever called this creature the goblin shark was being kind. The fish has a long, flat snout sticking out of its head, which is a teensy bit strange, aesthetically speaking. Luckily, the snout grows proportionally smaller as the shark ages, in much the same way that a human male's embarrassingly large ego tends to shrink as he gets older.
9. THE ANGLERFISH
Beyond Australia this creature is called a frogfish, which doesn't make any sense to us, because this particular specimen looks more like the fluorescent hallucination of a sixties hippy. Admittedly, only certain types of anglerfish are this trippy.
10. THE BLOBFISH
Blobfish may look absolutely miserable, but he's managed to turn himself into a Twitter star. Not a bad effort, considering this fish was just voted the ugliest animal on the planet. We think he was hard done by. Come on, look at that slimy, innocent face and tell us your heart doesn't melt, even a little.