The blobfish is the Rodney Dangerfield of the animal kingdom — it just gets no respect.
The blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) is a deep-sea fish that lives off the coast of Australia. The BBC reports that it has won a contest to be named the world’s ugliest creature and thereby became the official mascot of the Ugly Animal Protection Society.
There is no doubt that the humble blobfish is an exceptionally ugly thing. It’s common name is totally accurate, and that doesn’t help. It looks like a large, slimy phlegm wad, and it’s perpetually disgruntled expression even makes it resemble Rodney Dangerfield. Not surprisingly, it’s not an edible fish. Who would want to have one brought to them on a plate?
The Ugly Animal Protection Society makes a valid point. It’s easy to gain public support for causes to preserve cute, cuddly, furry animals, but foul-looking, glum, gelatinous lumps are equally deserving of protection in order to maintain biodiversity. And there is no doubt that the blobfish needs some preservation assistance, because deep-sea large-net fishing, in which the inedible blobfish is brought to the surface along with the rest of the catch, has left it on the verge of extinction.
The blobfish might not be eye candy, but a world without the blobfish — and other ill-favored critters — would be a less beautiful place.