Here’s our very own list of fish with funny names. Some of these funny fish names are almost too weird to be true – but rest assured, we’ve double-checked them all.
From the Slippery Dick to the Old Wife and the Blue Bastard, find out the stories behind the most strange and funny fish names out there.
1. Sarcastic Fringehead
The sarcastic fringehead (scientific name Neoclinus blanchardi) is a small but very hardy saltwater fish that has a large mouth, and aggressive territorial behavior, which has supposedly earned it its funny name.
The Sarcastic fringehead can reach up to 30 centimeters (12 in) in length and are generally brown in color.
Sarcastic fringeheads are a species of tube blenny and tend to hide inside shells or crevices, though some have been found living in man-made objects. They are found Pacific coast of North America in relatively shallow waters.
2. Blue Bastard
Blue bastard is a common name for the Plectorhinchus caeruleonothus, a species of sweetlip found in Northern Australian waters. The name “blue bastard” comes from the fish’s blue color and its reputation for being difficult to catch.
It has become a favorite target for fly fishers who enjoy a challenge.
The blobfish (scientific name Psychrolutes marcidus) is a deep-sea fish that is found in the waters off the coast of Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania. It is known for its unique appearance, which resembles a gelatinous blob or a sad-looking face.
The blobfish has a soft, flabby body and a large head with a fleshy nose and small eyes. It lives at depths of up to 1200 meters (3900 feet) and feeds on small invertebrates and other fish that live in the deep sea.
Despite its unappealing appearance, the blobfish is not dangerous to humans and is not used for food due to its extremely high water content.
The wahoo is a fast-swimming pelagic gamefish with a name that sounds like a cheer.
The fangtooth (Anoplogaster cornuta), as the name suggests, has long, menacing fangs that are huge in proportion to its body.
Special pouches on the roof of its mouth prevent the teeth from piercing the fish’s brain when its mouth is closed.
Fangtooth grow to six inches or so and are found in the so-called midnight zone between 500 and 2000m (some specimens have been found as deep as 5000m).
6. Bony-Eared Assfish
This one surely brings a chuckle to even the grumpiest reader. The bony-eared assfish (Acanthonus armatus) is a small deep-sea fish that resembles an overgrown tadpole. This funny-named fish lives between 1000m and 4500m deep.
7. Slippery Dick
This giggle-inducing fish is a species of wrasse (Halichoeres bivittatus) that gets its unique name from the slippery mucus it excretes to help it evade predators. Slippery dick are shallow reef dwellers that grow up to a foot long. Slippery dick fish are hermaphrodites, meaning that they start out their lives as females and can change their sexes for mating.
Hawaii’s state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (in Hawaiian language), is also referred to as the rectangular Triggerfish, or Hawaiian Triggerfish. It has a large, stout dorsal spine that can be locked into place in an upright position, allowing the fish to wedge itself into crevices to stay safe from predators.
The fish’s other defense mechanism is to make grunting noises that sound like a pig fleeing from predators. Its Hawaiian name – surely the longest of the funny fish names – means “fish that snorts like a pig” or “fish with a pig snout.”
9. Obese Dragonfish
The obese dragon fish (Opostomias micripnus) is a deepsea fish species found in waters up to 5000m deep off the coast of Australia. It’s not the most attractive fish (although “obese” is a stretch) with a scaleless black body and a barbel hanging off its chin.
10. Cookiecutter Shark
The Smalltooth Cookiecutter Shark is named after the cookie-shaped wounds that it leaves on the bodies of larger animals such as seals, sharks, and tuna. It attaches itself to its prey with its suctorial lips and then spins to cut out a cookie-shaped plug of flesh from the larger animal.
11. Old Wife
The Old Wife (Enoplosus armatus) gets its name because of the sound it makes by grinding its teeth after it is caught. The fish lives in temperate coastal waters in Australia and has distinctive zebra-style stripes.
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