The drop fish is a very unusual and little studied creature that inhabits the ocean depths. It is simply impossible to remain indifferent to her appearance: one is both funny and sad at the same time. This amazing creature belongs to the psycholute family. It is practically impossible to meet her by chance, because she lives very deep and the population of these fish is small.
Origin of the species and description
As already mentioned, drop fish is one of the members of the Psycholute family. Its other names are psychrolute or Australian goby. It is called a drop because it resembles it in its shape, moreover, it looks like a jelly substance.
Until recently, little was known about this unique fish. It was first caught by fishermen near the Australian island of Tasmania in 1926. The caught fish aroused extraordinary interest, and the fishermen decided to hand it over to scientists for more thorough research. So, the fish was classified and after a while completely forgotten, not normally studied.
Video: Drop fish
The reason for this is the enormous depth at which it lives. At that time, it was not technically possible to study its habits and vital activity in natural conditions. Only closer to the second half of the twentieth century did it become possible to use deep-sea vessels.
An unusual creature was also found on the shores of Australia and Indonesia, only the individuals were already dead, so they were not of interest for scientific research. Only over the years, thanks to the development of technology, fishing trawlers managed to catch a live specimen.
It is worth noting that this fish is still largely a mystery, all its habits and lifestyle are still not well understood, because she prefers an inconspicuous, secretive lifestyle, is rare and at great depths.
Appearance and features
The appearance of this deep-sea fish is its feature, because. he is simply unforgettable. Seeing her once, you can not remain indifferent. In shape, it really resembles a drop, and the consistency of the fish is quite jelly-like. From the side, the fish looks almost ordinary, but on the face it is simply unique. Her face resembles a human one with flabby cheeks, a displeased sad mouth and a flattened nose. In front of the fish there is a process associated with the human nose. The fish looks very depressed and offended.
The color of this fish is different, it depends on the color of the bottom in the place of its residence, so it is:
- light pink;
- light brown;
- dark brown.
The head of a fish of considerable size, it smoothly passes into a small body. The mouth is huge, with thick lips. The eyes are small, inexpressive (if you look at it not at a depth). The fish itself is about half a meter long, weighs 10 – 12 kg. For oceanic spaces, it is considered very small. There are no scales on the body of the fish, the same can be said about the muscle mass, so it looks like jelly or jelly.
The gelatinous substance is produced by the air bubble that this miracle fish has. Another important feature is that it does not have a swim bladder, like ordinary fish. All the amazing features of a drop are due to living at a great depth, where there is a very high water pressure. The swim bladder would have given way and cracked.
Where does the drop fish live?
The drop fish leads a benthic lifestyle. Her whole unusual body is designed to feel great at great depths. She lives in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans, more precisely, in their mysterious depths. Most often, it is found by fishermen along the coast of the Australian continent and near the island of Tasmania.
The depth at which it lives varies from 600 to 1200 meters. The pressure of the water masses there is 80 times greater than at shallow depths near the surface. The drop fish got used to loneliness and fell in love with it, because. at such a great depth, not many living creatures can be found. It has adapted to the constant darkness in the water column, so the vision is well developed, the fish moves smoothly and measuredly, without hurrying anywhere.
The drop fish is quite conservative and prefers not to leave the territory of its daily habitat, which it has chosen. It rarely rises to a mark higher than 600 meters. This can only happen when, by an unfortunate coincidence, she ends up in fishing nets. Such a fish will never see more of its favorite depths. Unfortunately, this has begun to happen more and more often, which leads this unusual fish to the threat of extinction from the face of the Earth.
What does the drop fish eat?
The life of a drop fish under a huge water column is very difficult and unsightly. It is not easy to find food at great depths. Despite its awkward appearance, the drop fish has simply excellent eyesight. This is not surprising, because darkness and uncertainty always reign at great depths. Interestingly, at great depths, the eyes of this fish are very bulging and protrude forward, on the surface of the water they are significantly reduced, one might say that they are blown away like balloons.
Thanks to their clear vision, the fish and hunts for small invertebrates, which it usually feeds on, although this process can be called a hunt with a stretch.
The drop has no muscle mass at all, so it cannot swim fast, because of this, it also does not have the opportunity to pursue its prey. The fish sits in one place and waits for its bite, opening its huge mouth wide, like a trap. Due to the impossibility of fast movement, excessive slowness, these fish often remain hungry, constantly malnourished.
Big luck if you manage to swallow several instances of invertebrate organisms at once. In addition, at such a considerable depth, living creatures are much less than at the surface. So, it is extremely rare for an amazing drop fish to eat tightly, with the capture of food, often, the circumstances are deplorable.
Character and lifestyle features
The drop fish remains a mystery until the end unsolved. Very little is known about her habits, character and lifestyle. Scientists have found that it is very slow, barely swims, keeps afloat due to the fact that its jelly-like substance is much less dense than water. Having frozen in place and opening his mouth, he can wait for his dinner for a long time.
These unearthly creatures live from 5 to 14 years, and the most difficult living conditions do not particularly affect its longevity, only luck affects it. If it is large, then the fish will not be overtaken by the fishing net, and it will safely continue to exist. It is assumed that mature specimens of these fish like to live apart, alone. They create pairs only for a while in order to give birth to offspring.
A drop of fish does not like to leave its inhabited depths and never rises close to the surface of the water of its own accord. The shallowest depth at which it can be is about 600 meters. Judging by the way this fish moves and behaves, its character is rather calm and phlegmatic. A sedentary lifestyle, although little is known about this thoroughly.
Apparently this only happens when she has not yet acquired offspring. When a drop fish becomes a mother, she takes incredible care of her fry and protects them in every possible way. The fish has become very popular in the Internet space and the media because of its extraordinary, wonderful and unique saddened physiognomy.
Social Structure and Reproduction
As mentioned earlier, adult fish live in complete solitude, leading an isolated lifestyle, and pair up only to replenish the genus. Many stages of the mating season of drop fish are completely unexplored. Scientists have not yet figured out how she attracts a partner? Do these creatures have a special marriage ceremony and what is its essence? How is the process of fertilization of a female by a male? How is a drop fish prepared for spawning? All this remains a mystery to this day. Nevertheless, scientists managed to find out the main information about the breeding period of drop fish thanks to ongoing research.
The female lays her eggs in various deposits on the bottom, which are located on the territory of her permanent deployment. Then it sits on the laid eggs, like a mother hen in the nest, and hatches, protecting it from various predators and dangers. A drop fish sits on its nest until all offspring are born. Then a caring mother brings up her fry for quite a long time, carefully taking care of them. The female helps the babies to get used to the mysterious and unsafe world for them at the bottom of the ocean.
Immediately after the fry emerge from the eggs, the whole family prefers to live in more secluded places, keeps more apart, descends to the greatest depth, where it is less likely to become a victim of predators. The mother tirelessly takes care of the fry until the period of their complete independence. Then, young drop fish, already grown up enough, go into free swimming, spreading in different directions to find a suitable territory for living.
Natural enemies of drop fish
As for natural, natural enemies that can harm a drop of fish, nothing is known about them either. At the great depths where this outlandish fish lives, there are not so many living creatures as at the surface of the water, therefore, no special ill-wishers were found in this fish, all due to the lack of knowledge of this amazing organism.
Scientists suggest that certain predators, which also live at great depths, may pose some threat to these unusual fish. Here you can name large squids, deep-sea angler fish, of which there are several species. All these are just guesses and assumptions that do not have any solid evidence and are not supported by any facts.
In our modern time, it is believed that the most terrible and dangerous enemy for a drop of fish is a person who can lead this species to complete destruction. In Asian countries, its meat is considered a delicacy, although Europeans consider it inedible. A drop fish often falls into the fishing nets of fishermen, lowered to great depths and catching squid, lobsters and crabs.
Specially, no one hunts for this particular fish, but it suffers because of such fisheries, which gradually brings its already small number to a critical point.
Population and species status
Although the drop has no particular obvious enemies, the population of this fish has been steadily declining.
There are reasons for this:
- the emergence of modern fishing equipment;
- a significant increase in fishing;
- deterioration of the environmental situation, pollution of the oceans with various wastes that eventually accumulate on the bottom;
- eating fish meat drops in Asian countries, where it is considered a delicacy.
The increase in the drop fish population is extremely slow. In order for it to double, it will take from 5 to 14 years, this is only under favorable conditions, otherwise it will again rapidly decline. There is a ban on catching this particular species of fish, but it continues to fall into the nets of fishermen when they wool the bottom in search of a completely different catch.
It is possible that the wide popularity that this outlandish fish has acquired on the Internet and in the media, will pay the most attention to the problem of the decrease in the number of these creatures and help to take more stringent measures to save them. It can be said that a more amazing creature than a drop fish is hard to find on our big planet. It seems to be sent to us from outer space so that we can see another life and understand it, study it more carefully and in detail.
It is amazing that in our progressive age, when there is almost nothing unknown, such a unique mystery and riddle, like a drop of fish, still very little studied. Maybe soon the scientists will be able to reveal all the secrets of the mysterious drop fish. The most important thing is that the drop fish does not cease to exist and safely live up to those times.