5 Fish Clearly Designed by a Madman
You know the problem with Sharktopus, the SyFy original movie about a half shark, half octopus monster? It just wasn't necessary. Nature provides enough science-fiction-level aquatic horrors all on her own.
Hell, some of these are actually less believable than the Sharktopus. Like the ...
Have you ever wondered what it would look like if you glued a machine gun to a puppy's nose? Or a machete to a turkey? Let's just go all out and imagine adhering all of the weapons from a zombie video game to the heads of zoo animals, mix and match style. Hey, we'll put a chainsaw on a fish!
Just shove your hand up the cloaca for a great Bruce Campbell effect.
Actually, that looks more like the offspring of the fish and chainsaw's drunken hookup.
That fish is a sawfish (duh) and its shnozzle is actually called a rostrum, and it can grow as long as 5 feet and have as many as 37 blades running up both sides. And each of those teeth can be up to 2 inches long.
"The only thing I could find to kill it was another sawfish."
And, as if the weapon itself wasn't horrifying enough, the barbed club is also covered in motion- and electro-sensitive pores that are designed to help the monster detect the heartbeats of other fish hiding on the ocean floor.
These are all things you should remember should you ever find your nearly dead body at the bottom of the ocean. That and the fact that cyanide pills slip nicely into any wetsuit.
Careful back there, dude. Its ass is made of grenades.
Much like the kids who had to sit alone in the cafeteria in junior high, the viperfish's teeth are so big they don't fit in the animal's face. They curve out and over, with the bottom fangs coming dangerously close to the fish's eyes. They'd actually be kind of pathetic if they weren't so petrifying.
At the very least, it's a good argument against sober intelligent design.
Science doesn't know too much about the viperfish, since it lives as far as 5,000 feet below the ocean's surface. What we do know is that it's relatively small, usually only growing up to about a foot long. So it's far away from the surface and kind of little, at least compared to a few other fish. Don't get too cozy, though, captain. The viperfish has got a few tricks to make up for its small size and misshapen underbite.
For one thing, those fangs are clear, so none of its prey can see them coming. And for another, this sneakster lures smaller fish with a fake light:
"Don't mind me. I am just some light, and light cannot eat you."
In the blackness of the deep ocean, little guys see the glowing floaters, think they're dinner, then BAM! FANG IMPALEMENT! The fangs don't even act as teeth -- they're spears. And this guy is fast about it, too, so fast that the first vertebra of its spine is specially designed to act at a shock absorber. It collides with so much force that evolution had to come up with a uniquely padded backbone to keep them from hurting themselves. That's how hard it stabs other fish. If you can imagine a serial killer who is so violent that his stabbing arm had to mutate a special protective cushion, he still won't be as frightening as the viperfish.
We're pretty sure that viperfish are the reason we developed legs and got the hell out of the ocean.
Picture an animal that is nothing but teeth, jaws and hunger pangs. And then, in the last few hundred thousand years of its evolutionary path, it said "Whatever" and decided to grow a body. Just as an afterthought. That's pretty much what you get when you look at the goliath tigerfish, the horror movie mouth that evolved a body ... a body that is 100 percent inconsequential because LOOK AT THAT MOUTH.
"I feed entirely on the ankles of swimmers."
It's a whole mouth made of Crocodile Dundee's shark necklace, but if the necklace had a cloning machine and a Dahmer-like temperament. You might even say it's a shark's mouth -- except it's not. Because sharks are slick and lean. They may be deadly, but at least you know where you stand with a shark.
It's the only fish that hunts accompanied by banjo music.
Those interlocking fangs work like scissors to rip out chunks of flesh, and the fish themselves can grow up to 150 pounds. And have been known to attack crocodiles.
Let's give that image a minute to sink in -- this is a fish that can attack crocodiles. Honestly, after watching the video linked below, we're not so sure the whole thing isn't just a puppet from Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock days. Look at it pulse its mouth open and shut like Fozzie Bear telling a joke in slow motion.
"Wocka wocka wocka!"
Quick! Name the deadliest animal in the ocean! You probably said "shark," unless you're a hippie, and then you said "MAN!" But if you're a fisherman living near the Pacific Ocean, you should have said "needlefish." And then shivered mightily.
At first glance, the fish looks they way you'd expect an animal named a "needlefish" to look. They're not horribly big, ranging in size from 2 inches to 3 feet long. And they're skinny, so you wouldn't imagine anyone giving a second glance to an animal you could throttle with one hand.
Though it doesn't give you much surface area to punch, so you have to be precise.
Sure, the thing has two jagged spears for a face, but as long as you're in the boat and it's in the water, what's the worst that could happen? Answer: It could jump out of the ocean at 38 miles per hour and stab you in the eye, that's what.
Poseidon's rebuttal to sport fishing.
Or the throat, or the chest, or the brain. It turns out the needlefish isn't the brightest crayon in the box, and at night (when Pacific reef fisherman and divers are most likely to get their catches) the lights from the boats get the fish all riled up. Entire schools of swimming knife-fish have been known to speed toward the brightness, even jumping onto boats and introducing people's internal organs to their snouts.
And as if the thought of getting skewered by a flying fish isn't horrific enough, that's not even the victim's worst problem. The bigger problem is that all or part of the fish's needle beak can break off in the skin. Not exactly the souvenir most of us are looking for when taking the Hawaiian vacation of a lifetime.
Just remember to wear riot gear before going out with your Ski-Doo.
"What?" you say, scoffing openly at your monitor. "Eels? Everybody has seen eels before. They're just big fish-snakes, right?"
Well, let's put it this way: Imagine the monster from Alien was a fish. Not like a fish in a movie about alien fish swimming in the sea of space, but a real live fish, living in the ocean right now. That's the moray eel. Trust us, it's not just those layers and layers of teeth that make the moray eel so terrifying.
Though that's a pretty goddamn good start.
It's not even the fact that some of those fangs are covered in a poisonous mucus and that some morays grow up to 8 feet long. No, wait until you see what that little bastard has got hiding in its insides:
Fishermen call that a "life fucker."
Get it now? It's got freaking second set of jaws. Just like this:
And just like the alien, the moray will punch its second set of teeth forward from the throat to grab prey and drag it down to its death. It takes a high-speed camera to catch the junior jaw in action, but HOLY CRAP.
It turns out that most fish catch prey by sucking in the water around them, so they get a drink and a meal all at once. Evolution has somehow rewarded this creature with a mechanism to skip the sucking and go straight for the murder grab.
Above: Proof that evolution can hate.
So the first set of jaws catches the meal, and the second set seizes it and hauls it down the throat. Watch this video below if you're a really good sleeper and you want to see the moray eel in action:
No other animal on earth is built like this. Which means that not only is this monstrosity ahead of the curve evolution-wise, but also that Mother Nature has probably got some more jacked-up tricks up her sleeve that we just don't know about (HINT: It almost certainly involves ACID FOR BLOOD).
For more examples of Mother Nature's sick sense of humor, check out 13 Real Animals Lifted Directly Out of Your Nightmares and 10 Animals You Won't Believe Are Closely Related.