10 of the Ugliest Fish in the World

by spotmydive

The underwater world is filled with thousands of extraordinary species that delight divers and swimmers from all around the world. You can find creatures of all sizes, weights, shapes and colors, but some may seem strange or even hideous. Let’s review those that we consider the 10 ugliest fish in the world.

What is the ugliest fish in the world?

Blobfish was voted the ugliest fish in the world by the “Ugly Animals Preservation Society”. And for you, who is the ugliest?


This ugly fish, 30 cm long, made up of a gelatinous mass, is only found in the abyss between 600 and 1200 meters deep. Therefore, you won’t be able to meet this horrible fish while scuba diving. Its strange appearance comes from the pressure of the depths, a hundred times greater than in the surface. Its anatomy allows it to float without having to spend energy while swimming. The best known photos of blobfish are not really representative of its original form. Indeed, the fish returned from the depths to the surface, undergoes a very strong decompression which profoundly modifies its appearance giving it a crushed appearance.

Wolf fish

This very curious fish has an elongated body similar to the one of moray eels. Its size can reach about 1 meter 50 for a weight of 18 kg. His chubby head, cat eyes, thick lips and prominent canines give him a somewhat monstrous appearance. Whether blue or olive green, this fish is a real curiosity for divers.

Spotted handfish

This fish does not swim but walk with its two little legs. It measures up to 15 cm long. It lives in the southwest of the Pacific Ocean and are endemic to Tasmania and Australia. They are threatened of extinction since the accidental introduction of a species of starfish (Asterias amurensis) that feeds on their eggs.

Humpback anglerfish

This underwater monster lives on the sea floor between 1000 and 3000 meters. The male is much smaller than the female (3 cm against 20 cm). He has on the head an organ that emits light and which serves both to trap its prey but also to seduce a female. To breed, the male clings to the female and then merges with it.


This fish, with its flattened body and big head is really scary. Measuring 20 to 90 cm, the uranoscopidae burrows into the sand to surprise its prey. Some species even have a crescent-shaped bait located on the floor of the mouth, which they agitate to make believe that it is a worm. Be careful where you lay your hands as these fish are very venomous, with thorns behind the operculum and above the pectoral fins. Species such as Astroscopus also cause electrical shock to their victim.

Sea Pig

This strange creature of the abyss living between 6000 and 9500 meters deep, is characterized by a swollen body, pale pink, translucent, 7 pairs of large feet and 4 long dorsal papillae. This species also called “sea pig” feeds on the upper layer of sediments resting on the bottom. These poor creatures are sometimes parasitized by other organisms such as gastropods or crustaceans.

Smooth lumpfish

Living in cold waters, this fish is a poor swimmer because of its tiny fins. Specimens of all sizes and shapes can be found. Some species are very cute (Eumicrotremus phrynoides) and others particularly ugly (Aptocyclus ventricosus). Most photos on the internet show a misshapen body due to the barautromatisms received during the ascent on the boat. Icelandic fishermen caught specimens of nearly 2 tons.

Ocean sunfish

Straight out of a Japanese manga, this big bony fish has a very strange prominent head that covers a large part of his body. Very popular with underwater divers, the moon fish leaves no one indifferent. The Mola Mola is the world’s heaviest bonefish (one ton on average) and has a wingspan of up to 3 meters for over 2 tonnes. Opinions are divided on its aspect: some regard it as beautiful and majestic, others, on the contrary, consider it ugly and awkward.


This fish of about 30cm is also called “hideous toadfish”. He can live in harsh conditions and needs little food. To catch its prey (mollusks, crustaceans, small fish), the toadfish hides in the sand and arises at the right time. During the season of the loves, the male uses his horns positioned on the top of his head to seduce the female. The female enters the nest, lays eggs, then leaves. The male fertilizes the eggs that hatch about a month later.

The striated frogfish or hairy frogfish

This small (up to 22 cm long) fish is predominantly found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean and even the Atlantic Ocean. Its body is globular, extensible and its skin is covered with small thorns that resemble long hairs. His large mouth allows him to swallow prey as big as him. It is a voracious carnivore that gobbles all the preys that pass within its reach. The coloring of the Frog-Frog adapts to the shades of the environment in which it lives. It can change colors in a few weeks. Finally, after mating, the male can kill or eat the female if it stays too long in the vicinity.