I have seen many weird fish in all of my days fishing, but I have to admit, I had never heard of a Stargazer fish until someone on our Salty Scales Fishing page asked to help identify one. Usually, I can chime right in, but this one had me scratching my head while simultaneously doing a Google search. As we know, the ocean is full of spectacular species, and I am sure there are thousands more that we have yet to discover. The deep dark depths of the oceans are full of mystery. Even Nasa has reluctantly admitted that we know more about space then we do our oceans. Why is that? According to Gene Feldman, the pressure at our deepest depths is far too great and dangerous. The force seven miles below the surface is equivalent to a human trying to hold fifty jumbo jets.
Not only do we have to deal with the pressure risk factor, but visibility is another issue in itself. We can see far into space, but light can no longer penetrate once you dive deep below the surface, making exploration even more difficult and risky. Let's get back to the mysterious and odd-looking Stargazer fish.
The Stargazer fish is a unique family Uranoscopidae. There are fifty-one known species known to inhabit both shallow and deep water around the globe. The fish have a notable presence because they feature unique eyes on top of their head. (Must be where the name Stargazer derived, eh?). Many crazy but fun facts about the elusive hunter; their frightening offensive and defensive techniques make them formable predators. Here are a few Stargazer fish facts that I think you will find interesting.
- The Stargazer is both venomous and can electrocute its prey. Like the eel, stargazers from the genera Astroscopus and Uranoscopus are bioelectronic. Therefore they are capable of creating electricity to stun their target or ward off potentially dangerous adversaries. At only 50 volts, the shock probably can't do any detrimental harm to a human, but there have been reports of death by the Stargazers toxic and potent venom.
- A Camouflage Hunter - The Stargazer has a unique way of burrowing into the sand and then patiently awaiting a vulnerable food source to swim near. Small but sharp teeth allow the fish to chomp down and grab its victim.
- Stargazer fish is said to be one of the meanest fish that swim in the ocean. I'm not sure I would agree, but they do have some neat mechanisms to ward off predators and catch a feisty snack.
Stargazer Primary Food Source
Stargazers mainly consume smaller fish and crustaceans; if it sees an opportunity and a weary snack comes within striking distances, than it's game over. Stargazers swallow their food whole.
Stargazers reportedly grow up to twenty-two inches but are most commonly seen between eight to eighteen inches in length.
Watch this video that breaks down all of the exciting facts about the unique but aggressive Stargazer fish: