By Patrick Cooney
All of these fish are real and they sure look like they are wearing scary Halloween costumes inspired by menacing characters.
Be sure to let us know in the poll at the bottom which one you think is the scariest fish of them all.
1. Sarcastic Fringehead as Predator
Sarcastic Fringehead Blennies live in the ocean off the coast of California. Similar to Predator, they flair their jaws to intimidate others while defending their territory and home. I wonder if former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger would have flashbacks to his marquee role if saw one of these while diving off the coast.
2. Mola Sunfish as Lady Gaga
Mola sunfish grow to be the largest bony fish in the world(>5,000 pounds!). At very small sizes (~10 mm), larval sunfish have spines that protrude from their bodies, protecting them from being preyed upon. Perhaps Lady Gaga’s outfit protects her from being eaten by a mob of fans?
3. Jawfish as Imhotep (Mummy)
Jawfish are mouthbrooders, meaning that they hold their young in their mouth until they get big enough to avoid easy predation. Similar to flies erupting from the mouth of Imhotep in the Mummy, these juvenile fish can be seen swimming in and out of the mouth as they get older and hungrier.
4. Marine Hatchetfish as Scream
Hatchetfish live thousands of feet under the sea and use bioluminescent photophores (light producing organs) to avoid being eaten and also to attract prey. Many Halloween costumes, like the masks from Scream, use Zinc Sulfide as a phosphor to emit light, allowing it to be seen in the dark like the Hatchetfish!
5. Goliath Tigerfish as Pennywise (It)
Goliath Tigerfish can be found in Africa and use massive serrated teeth to slash and bite their prey. Let’s just hope that unlike Pennywise the Dancing Clown, Goliath Tigerfish leave unsuspecting children alone.
6. Viperfish as Venom Symbiote (Spiderman)
Similar to Hatchetfish described above, Viperfish also use photophores to produce light. The light emits from a long lure on the fish’s chin. When prey get close, Viperfish snatch them in their long sharp teeth. They better be careful to not pith their own brain with those long teeth.
7. Gulper Eel as Jabba the Hutt (Star Wars)
Gulper Eels have massive mouths that envelope their prey. These eels often go long periods of time without food. However, they can ingest massive amounts of food in their large mouth and stretch the size of there body dramatically, not unlike Jabba the Hutt.
8. Garden Eels as Medusa
Garden Eels (yes, eels are fish!) live in large colonies and undulate and sway together in the ocean’s current. Unlike Medusa’s vicious snakes, these fish are timid and duck down into their burrows quickly when disturbed.
9. Anglerfish as Baby Alien (Alien and Spaceballs)
Much like the baby Alien in cinema that lives within its host, male anglerfish attach to female anglerfish (see that small thing on the bottom left of the large fish in the above photo…that is the parasitic male) and become dependent on the female host.
10. Fangtooth as Alien
The Fangtooth has such long teeth on its bottom jaw that it has open sockets on its upper jaw adjacent to the brain to allow the teeth to slide when catching prey. But don’t worry my friends, the Fangtooth won’t be coming after you like Alien, as it only grows to 7 inches in length and lives in the very deep ocean.
Can you think of any other scary fish or animal pairings?
Don’t forget to take the poll below and let us know which fish you think is the scariest.