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The Weirdest, Most Alarming Fish You Didn't Know Existed

Limb regeneration, mad camouflage skills and a mouth that expands to over 10 times its original size — is this real life?


The frogfish has so many strange things going on, it's hard to keep track of them all.

Let's start with the name. They are called frogfish because of their squat, stocky appearance, and because of their leg-like fins that they use to walk around.

That's when they move at all. Since frogfish feed mostly by ambushing their prey, they mostly stay very still, trying as hard as possible to blend in with their surroundings.

Their need for camouflage contributes to their bizarre appearance, as they sport some startling colors and surreal hair in their attempts to mimic corals and sea sponges, sea urchins and seaweed.

Rock or frogfish?

That's not a rock, that's a frogfish - Flickr/Steve Childs

They aren't totally passive hunters, however. As part of the anglerfish family, many frogfish have antennae that they use as lures. They aren't worried if a fish takes the bait and bites the lure, since it can be regenerated.

Perhaps the most incredible thing about the frogfish is what it does once it has a meal in its sights. It INHALES its food. Literally.

It expands its mouth to over 10 times its original size, creating an inescapable vacuum of death that sucks in the victim in a near-instantaneous 6 milliseconds. Blink and you'll miss it.

The esophagus seals shut with a special muscle to prevent escape, and the digestive acids go to work. All that's left are the scales.

Yes, they say the frogfish's stomach grew three sizes that day!

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