Why Puffer Fish Are the Deadliest Animal in the Ocean

A cute fish with a sinister agenda. Discover why the puffer fish is the most dangerous fish in the ocean.

Pufferfish cartoon

Firstly, What is a Puffer Fish?

A pufferfish (also called a blow fish) is a cute fish that puffs up to protect itself. They are many of these fat little puffs; more than 120 different species in fact. Some live in fresh water, some in salt water. However, be warned because its cuteness is just an act. Behind this round ball of puffiness lies a sinister agenda.

AN AGENDA OF….

Puffer Blood dripping death GIF

Hoping To Keep A Puffer in an Aquarium? Be Warned…

Think twice before flaming those dreams of having the most exotic fish on the block in your home aquarium. A pufferfish pet is not to be taken lightly. Here are a few things to consider before letting this little monster into your life:

Puffer Fish are Carnivores…

This cute ball of poof does NOT play well with others. In fact your innocent looking blowfish will MAIM AND KILL all the other fish in your tank and will be happy about it. Not only will it eviscerate the smaller fish in your tank but it will also terrorise any larger fish, until they too succumb to its reign of terror.

Some species, in particular the dreaded Red Eye Puffer, are cannibals and will seek and destroy other puffers living anywhere near them.

Red Eye Puffer Fish

Puffers are Super High Maintenance

To add to the general level of obnoxiousness, puffer fish are also super finicky about their water temperature and cleanliness. Biologists say this is because blowfish have spines, not scales and are sensitive to changes in their environment and therefore more susceptible to disease.

But we know it is because the puffer likes to be a PAIN IN THE ARSE.

Pufferfish are so demanding that you must quarantine any live prey for at least 30 days before feeding your puffer so it avoids picking up bugs from its meal.

Puffer-Fish-eating-habits

Your puffer also doesn’t make keeping its tank clean an easy task either. Once it has taunted its prey throughout the duration of its quarantine, the puffer enjoys spilling fish guts ALL OVER ITS TANK.

As a thank you for all your effort….

Deadly-puffer-fish-in-tank---Milan's-Mischeif

Puffer Fish in the Wild

Out in the open ocean, their behaviour doesn’t improve. Their general defence mechanisms include:
  • Excellent eye sight
  • A burst of energy to escape danger
  • and of course Puffing
However, should a foe ignore their tactics and go in for a nibble, that’s when the trouble really starts. Puffers contain lethal amounts of the poison tetrodotoxin. Similarly to Blue Ring Octopuses, this is the toxin that paralyses you so you can’t move or even breathe which means you die of asphyxiation… full aware of the untimely demise that awaits you.

 
So a predator can’t even enjoy a tasty Puffer snack because it ends in DEATH from the toxin in the puffer fish’s body.

Ghost-puffer-fish cartoon
In fact its toxin level is so high there is enough toxin in one puffer fish to kill 30 humans:
why-puffer-fish-venom-is-so-deadly
Strangely, it is for this reason that they are known as the world’s most deadly delicacy.

Enter the Fugu

In some countries, ‘Fugu’ (puffer fish) is considered a delicacy. A right of passage perhaps… a test of bravery and foolishness in one go. Indeed, the ultimate gamble… for even though in Japan, a Fugu chef must study for three years to learn how to safely prepare this culinary delight, 60% of Fugu poisonings still end in DEATH.

Apparently the numbing sensation that you get from eating the ‘safe part’ of the Puffer Fish is all part of the fun, and yet the Puffer still ends up claiming victim after victim, even after its demise.

 

How to eat fugu cartoon

The Puffer Fish.

You cannot eat it.

You cannot swim with it.

You can not keep it as a pet…

…and yet it sucks you in with its puffy cuteness. This my friend, is why the Puffer Fish is the deadliest animal in the ocean.

Puffer Fish drawing

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