21 Ugly Fishes In The World

Although everyone has their own definition of beauty, everyone can recognize the ugly when they see it. Nature is amazing, but not every marine life is as adorable as a clownfish or as stunning as a killer whale. While each organism is vital and every animal has a purpose, occasionally evolution produces a species that lacks the visual appeal that people are accustomed to. And honestly, there could be creatures that are not weird looking but ugly too. Here is a list of the Ugly Fishes in the world.

Ugly Fishes In The World

1. Gulper Eel

The gulper eel, often known as the Pelican eel due to its large mouth, may be found in tropical and temperate oceans between 500 and 6,000 feet deep. The bioluminescence near the tip of the tail is thought to be employed to entice prey. It is a popular ugly fishes in the world.

Also Read: 10 Most Amazing Aquatic Animals In The World

Gulper Eel

Image Source: NOAA Photo Library

2. Blobfish

By popular voting, the ugly fish blobfish was chosen in 2013 to represent the Ugly Animal Preservation Society. (Yes, that group is real.) The fish is sadly endangered and lives off the coast of Australia. It is trapped in deep-sea trawler nets as a result of fishing for other fish. Its appearance is more disgusting than clownish. The blobfish’s gelatinous, squishy body is at the whim of the currents and feeds on whatever is drifting past because it lacks a swim bladder. At 4,000-foot depths, it hovers slightly above the seabed.

Also Read: 10 Ugly Baby Animals


Image Source: James Joel

3. Frilled Shark

The deep Atlantic and Pacific waters are home to the very uncommon frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus). One of the animals in the Mariana Trenches due to its primordial eel-like characteristics, including color, length, and fin placements in the back of its body, it is regarded as a living fossil. The frilled shark hunts by bending and lunging like an eel to capture prey. It can swallow enormous animals whole because of its exceptionally broad jaws, which are lined with 300 curved, needle-like teeth. These beasts are very nasty and scary! The frilled shark, which is rarely observed, lives in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Also Read: 10 Amazing Land And Water Animals In The World

Frilled Shark

Image Soure: Wikimedia

4. Anglerfish

Most anglerfish inhabit the murky depths of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. The fleshy portion of the dorsal fin that hangs directly over the mouth and is used as bait to draw prey is where they earn their name. Anglerfish are found in more than 200 different species. Perhaps the ugliest animal on the earth is the angler fish. There are around 200 species of anglerfish, which range in size from 0.3 to 1 meter and are typically dark grey to dark brown in color.


Image Source: Wikimedia

5. Monkfish

The monkfish (Lophius), also known as fishing frogs, frogfish, and “poor man’s lobster,” is a bottom-dwelling fish that inhabits the western and northern Atlantic oceans. These names refer to the monkfish’s – let’s face it, ugly – appearance, which includes mottled skin, small eyes, oversized heads and mouths, and rows of overbite teeth that resemble fangs. These ugly fishes in the world are in fact really good, despite their unappetizing appearance, and they are increasingly showing up on menus of high-end restaurants and elsewhere.


Image Source: Ryan Somma

6. Red-lipped Batfish

It’s debatable if the red-lipped batfish (Ogcocephalus darwini), which has an odd appearance, genuinely qualifies as ugly. This fish, which is common in the area of the Galapagos Islands and close to the South American coast in Peru, has an unusually shaped body, a “beard” and “mustache,” a big “nose,” and, the show-stopping feature, brilliant red pouting lips. It is one of the ugly fish in the world.

According to scientists, the red-lipped batfish’s ability to attract a partner may be due to these lips. Unlike most fish, red-lipped batfish prefer to “walk” on the ocean floor rather than swim gracefully. As they get older, they stop using their dorsal fin for swimming and instead use it to lure prey.

Also Read: 10 Different Types of Fish With Big Teeth

Red-lipped Batfish

Image Source: Vlad Karpinsky

7. Sloane’s Viperfish

The Sloane’s viperfish (Chauliodus sloani), also known as Sloane’s fang fish, inhabits nearly all marine environments in temperate and tropical oceans between a depth of 1,000 and 2,000 meters. They are not only a really ugly fish (and certainly deserving of a spot on this list), but they also hold a record for having the fish with the longest teeth in proportion to its head size, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

Actually, the Greek terms chaulios (meaning open-mouthed) and odous are the sources of their name (for teeth). In fact, it can’t seal its mouth because of how big the teeth are. The fish, despite its intimidating appearance, is just about a foot long. They stay at 5,000 feet during the day but descend to 2,000 feet at night to feed.

Also Read: Top 10 Amazing Fish With Big Eyes

Sloane’s Viperfish

Image Source: Brian Suda

8. Goblin Shark

The goblin shark (Mitsukurina owstoni) is a deep-water fish with pink skin that has elongated, flattened jaws that protrude outward and pointed nail-like teeth. Its snout is quite unusual. They can get up to 6 meters long and have thin, flabby bodies. When they reach adulthood, the mature sharks’ distinctive pink color is caused by visible blood veins beneath the skin, an evolution from their nearly white juvenile state.

Also Read: 10 Different Types of Sharks In The World

Goblin Shark

Image Source: Wikimedia

9. Whitemargin Stargazer

The whitemargin stargazer (Uranoscopus sulphureus) is a member of a class of fish that live on the bottom and have developed eyes on the tops of their heads. They bury themselves in the sand to conceal themselves while hunting, then pounce to ambush moving prey. Whitemargin stargazers have upward-facing eyes and upward-facing mouths in their huge heads, which make for the ideal hunting physique—though not the most appealing!

Also Read: Top 10 Amazing Fish With Big Eyes

Whitemargin Stargazer

Image Source: Wikimedia

10. Illuminated Netdevil

Among anglerfish, the luminous netdevil (Linophryne arborifera) is the unique ugly fishes in the world. To draw prey, they have bright lures protruding from their sides and head

s. The species’ 8-centimeter female is shown in the image. The males are parasitic and considerably smaller. They live their entire lives hanging on the females’ bellies, looking forward. Good life!

Illuminated Netdevil

Image Source: Wikimedia

11. Hagfish

Hagfish are one of the animals with multiple hearts that belong to the family Myxinidae. They are seen across all oceans and prey on bottom-dwelling invertebrates. The natural predators are birds and mammals. The body length of hagfish can grow between 4 cm to 81.28cm and the average weight is between 0.85 to 1.4 kg. The fish species uses slime to suffocate marine predators or escape capture. As of now, 82 species of hagfish are known to humans and they are harvested for leather and food. The average lifespan of hagfish is upto 40 years.


12. Altantic Wolffish

The Atlantic wolfish is one of the fish with big lips that are mostly seen along the  Atlantic Coast of North America from Labrador to the Great South Channel and Georges Bank. Talking about its appearance, they have a tapered body shape along with a large rounded head and a slender tail. Altantic Wolffish has multiple rows of teeth and some of them can be seen coming out of the mouth. The adult species are blueish-gray in color, and the underside body is lighter than the upper part. The avarage lifespan of Atlantic wolfish is upto 20 years.

Altantic Wolffish

Image Source: Wikimedia

13. Toad fish

The toadfish is one of the marine species that can be heard out of the water. It belongs to the family Batrachoididae and can be seen across all oceans. They primarily prey and feeds on sea worms, crustaceans, mollusks, and other fishes. The natural predators are marine mammals, sea turtles, and other fish species. The avarice lifespan of toadfish is between 3 to 24 years. The population of species is decreasing because of hunting, trapping, and pollution.

Toad fish

Image Source: Wikimedia

14. Green humphead parrotfish

The green humphead parrotfish is the largest species of parrotfish whose body length can grow upto 4.9 feet and the average weight is up to 75 kilograms. They are mostly seen in the regions of the Indian and Pacific oceans raging from the Red Sea in the west to Samoa in the east and the Yaeyama Islands in the north to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, in the south.

It is also called by different names such as bump head parrotfish, humphead parrotfish, double-headed parrotfish, buffalo parrotfish, and giant parrotfish. The primary diet consists of benthic algae and live corals. The avarage lifespan of green humphead parrotfish is between 5 to 7 years.

Green humphead parrotfish

Image Source: Thomas

15. Hairy frogfish

The hairy frogfish is one of the species that are capable of eating prey as large as themselves by swallowing them whole in one go. The scientific name of Harry frogfish is Antennarius striatus and they belong to the family Antennariidae. They prey on small fishes and predators include lizardfish and scorpionfish. The body length is upto 8 inches and the average weight is upto 1 ounce. The avarage lifespan of hairy frogfish is upto 20 years.

Hairy frogfish

Image Source: Wikimedia

16. Boney-Eared Assfish

The bony-eared assist is a  bathypelagic species of cusk-eel mostly seen in tropical and sub-tropical oceans at a depth of between 1,171 to 4,415 meters. The body length of fish species can grow upto 37.5 centimeters and the avarage weight is upto 70 kilograms have the smallest brain-to-body weight ratio among all vertebrates. The avarage lifespan of boney-earned assfish is long and they have believed to live for more than 100 years. The oldest known fish species is the Greenland Shark, with an estimated lifespan of over 400 years and also the greatest of any vertebrate.

Boney-Eared Assfish

17.  Sculpins

Sculpins are generally small fishes that can grow  less than 1 foot, howvever, there is an exception of the cabezon, which can grow to 3 feet in length. Talking about its appearance, they have a large, bulbous head along with fleshy appendages and spines on head and gill covers. They have a protuding eyes  and large pectoral fins. The color of sculpins varies based on the environment and the appear in  browns, greys, greens, reds and purples. They are mostly seen resting on rocky reef bottoms in relatively shallow waters. 


Image Source: Wikimedia

18. Spotted handfish

Spotted handfish has modified pelvic fins that looks like legs and hence listed as one of the fish with legs and hence the name spotted handfish. Talking about its appearance, they are  pinkish above and white below with darker orange, brown or blackish spots all over.  The population of spotted handfish seen across Derwent Estuary, Frederick Henry Bay, DÉntrecasteaux Channel and parts of Storm Bay. The primary diet of spotted handfish includes small crustaceans, polychaete worms and small molluscs.  The main threats to the population includes small population, restricted distribution, habitat modification, heavy metal contamination and invasive species. 

Spotted handfish

19. Sunfish (Underwater animals)

Sunfish is one the  underwater animals that are heaviest bony fish in the world with an average weight of upto 2,000 pounds. The body. Length can grow upto 10 feet long and more than 8 feet from fin to fin. The teeth of sunfish are fused into a beak-like structure along with pharyngeal teeth that is located in their house throats. The primary diet of sunfish includes jellyfish, salps, squids, crustaceans, small fish, fish larvae, and eel grass. The female species if sunfish can lay 300 million eggs at a time which is more than any other known vertebrate.

Ocean Sunfish

20. Vampire fish

Vampire fish is one of the animals that starts with lettet scientific name is HYDROLICUS ARMATUS or it is also known as Payara (Pandira in Portuguese/ Brazilian)  carrying very terryfying looks. They are known to have two huge teeth and they are described as particularly “aggressive” and as “silver missiles that comes with an attitude. In the home habitat it is known as toothed tiger fish or water wolf and also listed as the world’s largest tetras.

Vampire fish

Image Source: Wikimedia

21. Asian Sheepshead Wrasse

Asian Sheepshead Wrasse is one of the fish with big foreheads and also the the largest species of wrasses family. These species are native to the western Pacific Ocean, especially in Japan, China South Korea, and North Korea. It is also known as Kobudai in Japan and belongs to the Class of Actinopterygii and family Labridae. They have unique humphead along with distinctive chin and thick lower jaws. The chin of the species is connected to the forehead. Asian Sheepshead Wrasse is a solitary species that swim around the waters of coral reefs and prey on marine species independently. 

Asian Sheepshead Wrasse

Our collection of Ugly Fishes in the world is now complete. What did you think—were there any glaring fish missing? Or is there anything on the list that you believe is being mistreated and ought to be taken off? In the comments box below, we’d love to hear from you! You can share more about such ugly-looking creatures. Stay tuned for more.

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