Sunday, February 28, 2010

They May Not Be Huggable, But They're Still Damn Cool!

If you haven't seen the BBC's 2001 documentary Blue Planet, you should definitely check it out. Some of the most compelling footage comes from the bottom of the ocean. I've included a film clip from the documentary (above), just to give you a small taste of what it's about.

Pictured here to the right is one of the stars of Blue Planet, the famed Blobfish (not to be confused with Rush Limbaugh), a bottom-dweller (again, not to be confused with Rush Limbaugh) who lurks in the darkest depths in the world (yeah, yeah, yeah, not to be confused with Rush Limbaugh). Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass writes of the Blobfish:

Most fish don't really have faces. You've heard people refer to "fish eyes" or "fish lips," or they say, "Oh, shut up, you old fish face." But the blobfish actually has a face. Not a fish face, but a human face, complete with lips and a big, bulbous nose. A blobfish looks like some fat, drunken judge and may be highly intelligent. And therefore quite dangerous. It frowns. It leers. Sometimes, it even drools.

Equally cool is the Fangtooth (left), another deep-sea fish who apparently is equipped with the biggest teeth in the ocean. With choppers like that, you don't want to go messing around with caramel. Fangtooth brings to mind that old Groucho Marx quote, "I never forget a face. But in your case, I'm willing to make an exception." Actually, they look really scary, but Fangtooths are not dangerous to humans. Part of the reason is that they're only about six inches long and humans scare them. The other reason is that you have to swim pretty deep in the ocean - anywhere from 3,000 to 16,000 feet under the surface - to actually encounter one. Like their comrades the Blobfish, the Fangtooths prefer the deep blackness of the ocean's bottom. You'll also be happy to know that this fish possesses a fully functioning gas bladder, giving it the ability to, um, er, uh, cut the cheese. Sadly, Blue Planet neglected to say whether the bubbles from its farts make it to the ocean's surface.

Keep an eye on your TV Guide for Blue Planet to see these and countless other amazing fish.

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