Chauliodus Sloani

Chauliodus Sloani

Anyone who is somewhat sympathetic to the fictional will definitely remember the movie Alien. The filmmakers did a really good job of creating horrible monsters. Divers know how many incredibly beautiful fish float in the world’s waters. Some inspire designers with their color combinations and even form, others with horror filmmakers. These do not even hide the fact that the image of fantastic characters is often created from the different peculiarities of the appearance of natural inhabitants. And fish don’t stay in last place here.

But horrors of similar appearance can be found on planet Earth. We’ll calm the more sensitive right away – it’s not yet a real “alien” invasion – it’s just a deep-water fish named Chauliodus sloani.

Recently, while exploring the Atlantic Ocean, British oceanologists also discovered these fish – their memorable photos guaranteed that virtually all media outlets would write about the expedition.

Sloane's viperfish

The Sloane’s viperfish (Chauliodus sloani) is easy to remember for its impressive appearance. Although the fish are not large, they have a creepy appearance. Long and flattened body, black in color to blue, green or silver. The nostrils are full of protruding large and sharp teeth.

Illuminated organs (photophores) are thrown on the head and whole body, which, like other deep-sea fish, are used for communication with relatives, more precisely for the identification of “ones”. This fish can be grown in an aquarium, but due to the low sea temperature is necessary to have fish tank chiller to reduce water temperature.

Thus, shining predators with glowing jaws glistening in various dark colors and rising from the bottom are the ideal fish for horror films. You can meet it at different depths. Fish of this family can be found in almost all oceans – the Atlantic, the Pacific, India and even the western Mediterranean.

If you look at it, you probably don’t have any questions about what the fish feed on – yes, they are predators that can hunt a large enough prey, which is as much as 63% of the length of the fish itself. The fish is able to dilate the jaws even at an angle of 100-110 degrees.

Morena Eel Fish

Morena eel fish

Moray Eel fish (Gymnothorax) – quite close relatives of eels that breed in warmer seas – are full of them wherever there is no cold, and the water is salty – in the coastal waters of Africa, India and America. Also in the Mediterranean.

It’s not a secret to anyone that it is one of the most beautiful and spectacular fish that every reef aquarium enthusiast would like to have in their own desktop aquarium. Like a fish, a Moray eel has several distinctive features – its teeth are poisonous – a bite of some species of Moray eels can paralyze a person in a matter of seconds, they live in caves, despite their predation, prefer soul meat rather than live food. Moray change color depending on the environment, and, most strangely, they know how to turn their heads: both sideways and even up and down. It is probably the only fish in the world that can turn its head.

Scientists have singled out up to a couple hundred different species of Moray eels, but never a clear number – it is often assumed that there are only a few species of Morena fish, while color and other differences are related to the adaptation of Moray eels: in some places they become colored, in others white or black, a third. at all similar to some brown poles. Much like eels, Moray eels hide their reproductive patterns – there is even a theory that Moray eels spawns with eels in the Sargasso Sea, and another theory even states that eel larvae that remain in the sea become Moray eels while trapped in fresh water – become common eels. True, the latter theory seems unlikely…


Like many other fish, cranberries can grow for life, and they can survive for at least a few decades. Thus, although rare, even larger specimens occur. Even a small Moray eel has extremely strong braces – it is not uncommon for overly brave tourists – divers, scuba divers – to be fingered by small murmurs. A larger murmur with its braces can bite even a hand.

However, their hard clutches are not as dangerous as the poison – although not all species of cranberries are poisonous, some poisons are so strong that even if a half-meter fish is bitten, a person can be paralyzed and drowned. By the way, there are a lot of such cases as well – cranberries often support the floating person’s leg with fish and attack.

The story that stuck with me most about meringues is very old – it was that the Roman Emperor Caligula started raising these fish in one bay, where he fed them with disobedient slaves. The huge amount of food crumbs grew giant, like real sea snakes, and tore the thrown slaves to pieces, cutting off their legs and heads. Another legend tells that some of the emperors were thrown into the same bay by those enraged slaves in those murmurs. Moray eel fish felt no difference and was happy to swallow his master.

And finally, one more fact: many historians believe that medieval legends about giant sea snakes are stories about Moray eel: since these exceptional cases can grow very large, in the old days these predatory poisonous fish could have been a real horror to sailors.

Terrible Fishes in the Ocean

Horror films help people learn about dangerous aquatic animals – bloodthirsty white sharks, giant whales, aggressive Nile crocodiles, piranhas.

Indians living near the Amazon have known since childhood that they cannot urinate while drowning in a river. These are not superstitious or religious customs. The danger is caused by very small – only 2-3 millimeters of fish catfish Candiru (Vandellia cirrhosa).

Vandellia cirrhosa

They parasitize the blood of larger fish. Catfish are oriented according to the smell of ammonia emitted by the gills. As the fish breathe, they enter through the gills, settling in the blood.

The fish do the same to man. Urinary ammonia lures this parasite. Man does not even feel how that fish enters the genitals and penetrates the circulatory system, feeds on blood, and multiplies. Once inside, the catfish swells and increases several times.
It can only be scraped off after surgery. Worst of all, a surgeon cannot guarantee that the genital function will be preserved during surgery.

A person who has eaten an improperly prepared dish of the fish fugue, which the Japanese call sashimi, will die faster. Only cooks who have acquired special education and have studied it for more than two years are able to make a suitable dish from this highly poisonous fish. One fish fugue has enough poison to be enough for 20-30 people.

Poisoned people die in terrible suffering. Poison is found throughout the body of the fish: liver, blood, intestines, and even the skin. So far, there is no effective antidote. However, the Japanese use about one and a half thousand tons of this fish for food every year. Sometimes meals are prepared at risk by self-taught people.

In the Middle Ages, a chef who wanted to get a master’s name had to make a dish from fugue and … eat it himself. Surviving, he was given the right to cook from a fugue. Despite strict controls, more people died from the poison of this fish in the 16th century than were killed in wars between them.

However, when as many as 175 people died in 1958 from improperly prepared sashimi, the training of specialist chefs in the country was greatly tightened. The fish fugue is also called a sharp belly or even a fish – a dog, although its shape is not similar to a dog. They are a really gorgeous jewel of the oceans.

The blue stripes on top and the white belly make them bright, colorful, charming. Fugu has no scales, but at the bottom, her body is overgrown with spikes that resemble sandpaper. The mouth of these fish is small but full of disproportionately large, human-like, sharp teeth. With them, the fugue easily bites off the armor of crabs, cuts off the hooks of fishermen, and can carelessly bite a finger. In case of danger, the fish-dog immediately swells, becoming like a soccer ball.

The spiny belly is flying fast, but it is able to float its tail forward! This is a rare feature of an aquatic animal. Fugu breeds in the Atlantic, the Pacific, as well as some large rivers.

Fugu fish

Poison heals Why do people eat such dangerous fish? What does it entice gourmets? Some people are said to be enticed by games with death. Fugu poison – tetrodotoxin is up to 50 times stronger than potassium cyanide. However, small doses of them that remain in the meal cause indescribable narcotic euphoria. In addition, the poison tetrodotoxin, cleverly dosed, is also used as a medicine. It is used to treat the thyroid gland, it is used as an analgesic in patients with cancer, smallpox. Also used in patients with neuralgia, arthritis, rheumatism.

An experienced chef must know how much poison is present in each part of these fish, as they are not evenly distributed in how to gut and prepare this fish. Its taste is quite attractive. When preparing a dish, the chef must also take into account the age of the customer, his health.

Toxins can be left in the dish to the point where the customer is in a great mood and at the same time helps him get rid of any ailment that the poison eliminates. But if the chef gets a little wrong – after six hours his client may die.

Another fish that is not recommended for sailors to encounter is the winged striped. It is often referred to as zebra because of its appearance. This fish does not move somewhere in the shadow of the coral on the seabed, slowly waving its long, ornate, shining fins. It is easy to support in a colorful bouquet of aquatic vegetation.

Such an omission can be costly. Feeling the danger, the winged stripe protrudes its sharp, poisonous thorns in the blink of an eye. Although a slight tap of such a needle causes a great deal of pain to a person. He may lose consciousness. The punctured site swells and dies. The pain begins to subside slightly after a few hours and only goes away after a week.

If a diver dives several thorns, he may immediately lose consciousness, be paralyzed. Repeated exposure of the winged thorns to a person acquires immunity. However, such “attempts” are better avoided.

Master of camouflage Another hard-to-notice and very insidious inhabitant of tropical waters is the Synanceia verrucosa. These fish, about 40 centimeters long, lurk careless sailors in the Red Sea, India and the Pacific.

Synanceia verrucosa

They are repulsive – the head is irregularly shaped and the mouth and eyes are directed upwards.
The skin of these fish is soft, ugly – as if covered with warts. The distinctive feature of these fish is the ability to camouflage perfectly in the environment. They are very difficult to spot even in shallow water. The short and long needles with which these fish are armed are hidden in the dorsal fins and appear only when touched.

Some needles have grooves like snake teeth. They carry poisons produced by special glands. The Synanceia verrucosa spikes are very stiff, strong, they can pierce even the thick soles of divers’ suits. The poison of these fish causes people pain, from which one can even go crazy, lose consciousness. Painful swelling and breathing problems occur at the puncture sites. If no help is given, a person may be in a coma after five hours.

If a prickly puncture hits a larger blood vessel, death can occur even earlier. But even the survivors are usually sick for a few more months. These poisonous fish are eaten by people in India, on the island of Samoa, in New Guinea. Before that, their skin is peeled off and the spikes of deadly poison are removed.