If you didn't know that this was an actual fish in real life, you'd think it was some fictional monster you've seen in your favorite horror movies, but the anglerfish is real and is one of nature's creations. The anglerfish is one of those flesh-eating deep-sea animals that are as ugly as they come.
The anglerfish always wears an angry-looking, mean face, but it has every right to be this way. It may be the ugliest animal in existence and inhabits the most hostile environment on earth—the dark, isolated bottom of the sea. With such an environment comes the need to behave in ways that can only help it survive as long as it can.
Today I'm bringing you some strange facts about a strange creature called the anglerfish.
1. There are 200 anglerfish species in the world.
The anglerfish may be ugly, but there sure are many of them in the waters, with over 200 species. The majority of them live in the dark and gloomy parts of the Antarctic and Atlantic oceans, where they live just about a mile away from the very surface of the seas. These creatures are usually dark gray or even brown; their heads are large; and they have funny-looking mouths that are not only large and scary but contain some massive translucent teeth. You may find some anglerfish that are as large as 3.3 feet long, but this is not regular, as the majority of anglerfish are smaller than one foot.
2. They are cunning.
I have already said that these strange creatures have really large mouths, and if you are an anglerfish, your mouth will be one of the best things you have because they can swallow up to twice their size with just that mouth. Taking that the regular anglerfish is smaller than a foot, how do they get to capture their prey? It's simple; this actually applies to the females, which makes one of their most distinctive characteristics that helps in their survival in the wild seas. The female anglerfish has a dorsal spine that has a protrusion just at the top of their mouths. This looks like what we humans would call a fishing pole, and the anglerfish uses it in a similar manner. This dorsal spine has a bright light feature that the anglerfish uses to bait its prey. Once the target is close enough, the larger than usual mouth does a good job of capturing it and sending the digestive tract of this ugly and cunning creature.
3. The males are small and vulnerable.
The females are the most cunning of the anglerfish. The male is rather small and better looking than the ugly females; the males do not need the luminous dorsal spine that the female uses to lure their prey into its large mouth; instead, the male Anglerfish has its own secret weapon, which it uses to survive and procreate. Young male anglerfish swim through the free seas looking for the perfect females; their relationship can be compared to a parasitic one where the males are neither the victims nor the hosts. Instead, the male Anglerfish has developed a special evolutionary skill to latch onto his female using his teeth, which are as sharp as a typical new kitchen knife. But that isn't the end of the story. This process takes a while, and if the male continues to do this sort of thing for some time, he eventually fuses himself with his female counterpart and connects his skin to hers. He also connects with his bloodstream, where he loses his eyes and other body parts, leaving only his testes. You can begin to imagine why males are much smaller than females.
Another fact is that the female can even carry up to six male anglerfish in this procreation process where the male is sacrificed.
4. They are a family
As you already know, there are over 200 species of anglerfish, including sea devils, frogfish, sea toads, handfish, monkfish, and batfish. They are named based on their style of predation. Just like any other fish, a group of anglerfish is called a school.