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Fishin' for Facts: Blobfish



Common name: blob sculpin, blobfish
Scientific name: Psychrolutes phrictus  



Photos courtesy of NOAA/MBARI 2002

This blobfish is reaches lengths up to 27.5 inches (70 cm).  It weighs about 21 lb (9.5 kg). 

The blob sculpin is found in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan and from the Bering Sea to Southern California. Deep sea, found 2753 to 9187 feet (839–2800m)






Photos courtesy of NOAA/MBARI 2002

  The blob sculpin dines on invertebrates such as sea pens, crabs, and mollusks.

Little is known about blobfish. Some of what scientists have learned is from deep see exploration from submersibles and ROVs.  *Only more deep-sea research will tell.


Male blobfish *may guard the eggs. If they’re not sitting on them or touching the eggs, the males are found within 9 feet (3 m) of their future babies. Scientists think males fan the eggs with their fins to remove sediment (settling sand…etc).  

Deep-sea observations via submersibles and ROVs  has found that a male guarding eggs (referred to as “brooding fish”) was often very close to another male and his eggs. Nesting males can be found just a boulder away [3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 m)] form another male.   


*Observations of blob sculpins from a Monteray Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) ROV found that blobfish with or without eggs didn’t move away from the ROV’s approach….so maybe they’re just fearless or lazy blobs rather than courageous father blobs!  It’s more than a baker’s dozen… Scientists estimated that in four egg masses, there were about 9,375 to 108,125 eggs. Yowza!



*learn more about deep sea exploration with our Creep in to the Deep program.

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