We’ve all had one. The terrible roommate.
Someone who you probably found off of Craigslist, who uses your shampoo (or worse, your toothbrush), who loses their key all the time, who eats your food, who saves their toenail clippings in jars on kitchen shelves, who listens to screamo, who has a cat/boyfriend/hoarding problem they never told you about, who never pays their rent on time, who’s never even paid their rent. The list goes on.
A classic tale of roommate drama gone wrong has just emerged from the house — err, aquarium — of Dawn Oliphant-Dababneh.
She took a short but universally touching video of the world’s worst roommate: the diamond watchman goby.
The diamond goby has several names, including maiden, orange spotted diamond, orange-dashed, or orangespotted sleeper goby, and the pretty prawn (the last of which sounds like a pub frequented exclusively by pirates).
Aquarists describe the fish as “rarely aggressive but territorial.” The diamond goby makes a home for itself in substrate, meaning it burrows into the sand to hide from predators of all kind. Sounds respectful enough, right?
But perhaps the diamond goby never looked inward to see if any of its innate tendencies were predatory, or at least deeply irritating, to its tankmates.
On an unrelated note, diamond gobies are infamous for "puking" sand ... sound like anyone you know?
In the video, you see a blue-spotted jawfish, a rare and beautiful ornamental fish that is covered head to tail-fin with brilliant blue dots.
They live mostly in burrows they dig into the sand, only coming out to hover a few inches above the ground to court females before scurrying back into the substrate.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Eric Kilby
So all this blue-spotted jawfish wanted was the space to make its home in peace. But this jerk of a diamond goby has the nerve to spit sand directly into the blue-spotted jawfish’s burrow, at one point shaking an avalanche of sand into the burrow with a sweep of its tail.
The jawfish looks pissed, but, then again, when do jawfishes look happy?
What might be even greater than this inexplicable spat or bullying is the little black and white ocellaris clownfish that watches the whole fight unfold, somewhat confusedly floating in between the dueling fish, almost like a child caught in the throes of a messy divorce or the shampoo you bought for yourself but your roommate is clearly using because their hair always smells like cucumber melon.
Whatever the reason behind the fight, it’s humbling to know that fish have housing problems, too.