Top 10 ugly fish: the weirdest-looking sea creatures in the world

Top 10 ugly fish: the weirdest-looking sea creatures in the world

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. Have a look at some of the ugly fish that are considered to have the weirdest looks.

Top 10 ugly fish
Photo: (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Fishing is associated with fun, excitement, and a good-looking catch to go home with. You may possibly know of beautiful fish like the Moorish idol. However, did you know that there are ugly fishes in the ocean?

Ugly fish-weird looking fish

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but everyone knows a picture of fish that is ugly when they see it. That is why these ten fish often find themselves selected as among the most funny-looking sea creatures.

Have a look at some of these ugly fishes pictures and some of their characteristics.

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10. Red-lipped Batfish

fish picture
A Galapagos Batfish is seen in Galapagos, Ecuador. Photo: The Asahi Shimbun Premium
Source: Getty Images

The fish is found around the Galapagos Islands and close to the South American coast near Peru. It has an odd-shaped body and mustache.

Batfish are not good swimmers; they use their highly adapted pectoral, pelvic, and fins to walk on the ocean floor. When they reach maturity, their dorsal fin is used to attract prey rather than for swimming.

The red-lipped batfish reaches up to 40cm in length. The snout and horn of the red-lipped are a brownish color.

9. Anglerfish

Ugliest fish
A photo of an Anglerfish. Photo: @The Ocean Agency
Source: Facebook

An anglerfish live mostly in the murky depths of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. It has more than 200 different species.

They have a fleshy piece of the dorsal fin that hangs right over the mouth and is used as bait to attract prey.

The phylogenetic study suggests anglerfishes diversified in a short period of the early to mid-Cretaceous, between 130 and 100 million years ago.

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Their length can vary from 2-18 cm, with a few types getting as large as 100cm. Females are larger compared to males. Males may have several orders of magnitude smaller than females.

It swims intermittently at a speed of 0.24 body lengths per second, beating its pectoral fins in-phase.

8. Monkfish

ugliest fish
A photo of a Monkfish in the market. Photo:, @Jens Junge
Source: UGC

The fish head is large, broad, flat, and depressed, with the remainder of the body appearing merely like an appendage.

Monkfish is one of the ugly fish with teeth and swallows its prey whole. The stomach distends to accommodate prey as large as itself.

It grows to a length of more than 150cm. They live in shallow, inshore waters from 800 meters to deeper waters from 1000 meters.

The larvae are free-swimming and have pelvic fins with elongated filaments. It's spawning consists of a thin sheet of transparent gelatinous material 60–100 cm wide and 8–10 m in length.

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7. Smooth lumpfish

Ugliest fish in the world
Smooth lumpfish living in cold waters. Photo: @Ocean creatures
Source: Facebook

Smooth lumpfish is a species of lumpfish. The ugly sea creature lives in depths of 1700 meters in the North Pacific. They grow to a length of 6-41 cm and weigh 0.05-4.20 kg.

It is regarded as a poor swimmer because of its tiny fins. Their preferred diet consists of medusa and ctenophores.

Smooth lumpfish perform spawning migration from deep-ocean to coastal zones, where breeding occurs over a rocky bottom at depths shallower than 10 m.

The incubation time between fertilization and hatching is more than 40 days. Males protect the egg clusters after females spawn.

6. Wolffish

Weird looking fish
Atlantic wolf-fish. Photo: myLoupe
Source: Getty Images

The fish has an elongated body similar to one of the moray eels. It can grow up to 5 feet and can weigh 18 kg.

The weird-looking fish has a chubby head, cat eyes, thick lips, and prominent canines give him a somewhat monstrous appearance.

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It is either blue or olive green and restricted to the North Atlantic Ocean's cold waters.

5. Hairy frogfish

Ugly fish picture
Striped / hairy frogfish with a lure, Lembeh, Sulawesi. Photo: Joe Bunni/Gamma-Rapho
Source: Getty Images

The fish is also known as striated frogfish. It is considered to be one of the ugliest fish in the world.

It is found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian Ocean and also in the Atlantic Ocean. Its body is globular, extensible and its skin is covered with small thorns that resemble long hairs.

Frogfish have a large mouth that allows them to swallow prey as big as themselves. It is a voracious carnivore that gobbles all the prey that passes within its reach.

It grows up to 22 cm. It has a rounded, extensible body, and its soft skin is covered with irregularly-arranged dermal spinules resembling hairs.

The dominant coloration varies from yellow to brownish-orange, passing through a range of shades. Still, it can also be green, grey, brown, almost white, or even completely black without any pattern.

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Hairy frogfish are carnivorous, mainly feeding on a diet of small marine fish and crustaceans.

They have unique jointed pectoral and pelvic fins that allow them to walk along the floor using their anterior dorsal fin in conjunction with their tail.

Their fins are not modified for actual swimming. Therefore, they remain benthic on the ocean floor. After mating, the male can kill or eat the female if it takes too long in the vicinity.

4. Goblin Shark

Funny looking fish
A photo of an ugly goblin shark. Photo: @Jen Ong
Source: Facebook

The funny-looking fish has a distinctively long and flat snout, resembling a blade. The proportional length of the snout decreases with age.

The jaws are very protrusible and can be extended almost to the end of the snout, though normally, they are held flush against the head's underside.

The shark has two dorsal fins similar in size and shape, both small and rounded. The jaws' main part's teeth are long and narrow, particularly those near the symphysis, and are finely grooved lengthwise.

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The rear teeth near the corners of the jaw are small and have a flattened shape for crushing. The goblin shark feeds mainly on teleost fishes such as rat tails and dragon fishes.

It also consumes cephalopods and crustaceans, including decapods and isopods. Their body is slender and flabby, and they can grow up to 6 meters long and weigh up to 208 kg.

Their distinct pink color comes from visible blood vessels beneath the skin, but they are white when they are young.

3. Spotted handfish

Ugly sea creature
A Spotted Handfish walks along the seabed. Photo: @Lewis Nelson
Source: Facebook

This ugly fish does not swim but walks with its two little legs and measures 15 cm. It lives in the southwest of the Pacific Ocean and is endemic to Tasmania and Australia.

Females lay a number of eggs varying from 80 to 250 eggs on a variety of vertical objects. The eggs hatch after 7 - 8 weeks as fully formed juveniles.

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They have threatened extinction since the accidental introduction of a species of starfish that feeds on their eggs.

2. Viperfish

Funny looking fish
Viperfish, using their fang-like teeth to immobilize their prey. Photo: @Business Recorder
Source: Facebook

Viperfish vary in color from green, silver to black. It grows to about 30-60 cm in height and weighs 13 grams.

They are found from a depth of 1,000 to 5,000 meters in waters. The size of the teeth makes it impossible for them to close their teeth.

The fish feeds on small pelagic organisms such as small fish, shrimp, and squid. Prey is captured and killed by being pierced by the viperfish's long teeth and then swallowed whole.

It uses the light organ to attract its prey through bioluminescence. They are believed to live from 30-40 years.

1. Blobfish

picture of fish
A blobfish, shown in this photo taken, in Aquamarine Fukushima. Photo: Kyodo News Stills
Source: Getty Images

What is the ugliest fish? Blobfish is one of the ugly fish found deep between 600 and 1200 meters deep sea. It is 30 cm long and is made up of a gelatinous mass.

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Its strange appearance comes from the depths' pressure, a hundred times greater than on the surface. It undergoes very strong decompression, which profoundly modifies its appearance giving it a crushed appearance.

Its anatomy allows it to float without having to spend energy while swimming. Blobfish can reach up to 12 inches and weigh 9 kg.

The ugliest fish was voted as the world's ugliest animal and will now assume duties as a mascot for the Ugly Animal Preservation Society.

The ocean is a strange and mysterious place, filled with beautiful creatures and ones that are not so blessed in the looks department. It takes all kinds of animals to make up a healthy ecosystem, though. Even though these ugly fish pictures seem scary, the fish still play an essential role in our planet's health, so we should embrace them for what they do bring to the table.

READ ALSO: Best fruits for fertility every person trying for a baby should know about

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Top 30 cutest dog breeds in the world that will melt your heart recently published an article on the best fruits for fertility that everyone should consider trying. Maintaining a nutritious diet is important at every point in a woman’s life, but it is especially important when trying to conceive a baby. If you are planning on getting pregnant, you have probably already thought about your diet.

Although the effect of fruits on fertility is not proven, it is necessary to study the issue thoroughly - what to eat to get pregnant, what products are mandatory in the diet of an expecting mum, and which ones are better to exclude.


Mercy Mbuthia avatar

Mercy Mbuthia (Lifestyle writer) Mercy Mbuthia is a content writer with five years of experience writing on various topics, including biographies, entertainment, and lifestyle. She joined the Legit team in 2019. Mercy earned a Master of Science (Food, Nutrition & Dietetics) from Dedan Kimathi University in 2022. Her articles have appeared on several media sites such as The Health Channel, The Nation, Tekrati, ValiantCEO and Celebrity Leader. In 2023, Mercy finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. Email:

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