These strange fish with eyes on the crowns of their heads give them a surreal appearance. They’re bizarre. Because of this, they are known as Stargazers. Besides that they have a massive skull with an upward-facing mouth that is both large and pointed. They’ve acquired enlarged eyes and a frowning mouth in order to better conceal themselves from an ambush predator. There is nothing else to look at but the fish when all you see is them. They look like something out of another world. Our Viraltrendzs team was intrigued by these strange-looking critters, so we thought it would be fun to share their story with you!
The stargazer is a venomous member of the Uranoscopidae family. They have two huge, poisonous spines on each side of their opercles, just above their pectoral fins, on their backs. Some species of stargazers are capable of delivering electric shocks to their prey. It operates in the same manner as electric eels. In contrast to other electric fish, they lack particular electroreceptors.
Some of these dangerous individuals are capable of delivering venom as well as electric shocks to their victims. They disguise themselves by submerging themselves in the sand on the seabed, and then ambush their victim from this position.
The swollen eyes and frowning lips of an ambush predator are perfect.
In any event, it seems like the stargazer is resting well in its grave. The extra benefit of being buried alive is that the fish are shielded from their own foes. To attract prey, certain species’ lips create an artificial worm-shaped lure. They may wriggle them to attract the attention of their prey, which includes fish and crustaceans.
According to Martin Gomon, a systemicist at Australia’s Museum Victoria, they are capable to stick this out of their mouths while burrowed. To draw the interest of other fish, it takes on the appearance of a segmented worm.
Why not think you were looking at the ocean floor?
Dr. William Leo Smith, an ichthyologist, jokingly referred to them as “the meanest creatures in existence.” Indeed, curious fish hoping for an easy feast may end up with an unhealthy dosage of death. When the stargazer opens its jaws quickly, the vacuum created pulls the victim to its death. Because it’s so efficient, the strange fish doesn’t even require large, pointed teeth to snatch food from the water. As a result, its teeth are rather little.
However, stargazers can also be prey too. Some cultures consider them to be delicacies. Some fish markets sell them without their electric organs.
However, the life of a stargazer is not without its hardships. As an example, the sand that is kicked up by the water coming from its hidden gills needs to be taken into account. However, it seems to be unconcerned about it. Once an animal spots the bubbling substrate surrounding its predator, it will immediately swim away from its prey. As a result, the stargazer possesses a smart adaptability. The margins of its gill coverings feature projections that resemble fingers. Rather of shooting the water out in a single, concentrated stream, they aid in dispersing it more evenly.
This is how a stargazer appears when they are not covered in sand. This unfortunate soul got a little too near to the coast…
Even the fish’s mouth is decorated with frills to prevent sand from sliding in as it is gulping water. And it’s not only that the stargazer doesn’t want to die from suffocation. Sand is of course very rough. Gomon advises to keep the gills free of sand to prevent long-term harm.
It follows that being invisible has a price to pay. However it is an approach that ultimately pays off.