Blobfish are odd-looking, gelatinous deep sea creatures that have recently become internet famous. Their grumpy faces and blobby bodies make them an object of fascination for many. This leads some curious folks to ask – can you actually eat a blobfish?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Technically you can eat blobfish, but they are not commercially fished for food and have little nutritional value. Their bodies are mostly water and collagen.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into everything you need to know about eating blobfish. We’ll look at their habitat, anatomy, taste, nutritional content, and legality of blobfishing. We’ll also bust some common myths and answer all your key questions about blobfish as food.

What Are Blobfish?

Physical Description and Habitat

Blobfish are incredibly unique-looking deep sea creatures that actually resemble a blob of jelly more so than a bony fish. Living nearly a mile under the ocean surface, the flesh of the blobfish is primarily a gelatinous mass that allows it to float just above the sea floor with minimal effort in its high-pressure habitat.

Their gooey bodies are mostly a pale white or grey color, sometimes with darker blotches. They grow to around 12 inches long. Blobfish don’t have a swim bladder to control buoyancy like bony fish. Instead, they are made up of primarily water and gelatinous flesh structured with just enough protein and bone material to keep their general shape.

This odd, mushy anatomy allows them to thrive at depths where the pressure would otherwise easily crush most creatures.

Found off the coasts of southeast Australia and Tasmania, as well as near New Zealand and Chile, blobfish inhabit the deep waters of the ocean trenches and seamounts along the continental shelves. Here the pressure exceeds 60 to 120 times greater than what us humans experience at sea level.

Diet and Behavior

Blobfish spend their lives very slowly floating along just slightly above the rocky ocean bottom where they live, thanks to their near-neutral buoyancy. They are incredibly lazy, thanks to living in the deep sea where there is little if any current or wave action.

Blobfish primarily feast on whatever edible bits happen to drift or crawl near their motionless faces. Their diet mainly consists of sea cucumbers, shellfish, sea urchins, crabs, and other small crustaceans.

Being more density-neutral than positively or negatively buoyant, blobfish float at just the right altitude to be in prime position to catch falling debris or passing edibles with their upward-facing mouths.

While surprisingly animate and normal-looking in their extreme deep ocean habitat, sadly blobfish infamously transform into their shockingly bizarre blob forms when brought up to the surface. With no fins or tail and little muscle or skeletal structure, atmospheric pressure causes them to morph into amorphous gelatinous mounds.

When their natural buoyancy is unsupported by the high ocean pressure, gravity takes over and their flesh droops, making them look tragically similar to Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars. This understandably unflattering surface appearance unfairly earned blobfish the title of world’s ugliest animal in 2013.

Location Depth Range Length
Off southern Australia 2,000-4,000 ft Up to 12 in
Near New Zealand 2,000-6,000 ft Up to 24 in
Off Chile 3,500-4,000 ft Up to 12 in

Despite their comical appearance and lazy nature, blobfish fill an important ecological niche as passive yet opportunistic ambush predators in one of the harshest aquatic environments on Earth. They clearly demonstrate how strange and mysterious the creatures of the deep truly are!

Can You Physically Eat A Blobfish?

Anatomy and Composition

Blobfish are gelatinous deep sea creatures that live at depths of up to 4,000 feet in the oceans around Australia and Tasmania. Their bodies are primarily composed of a gelatinous mass with a density slightly less than water, allowing them to float just above the sea floor without having to swim (American Museum of Natural History).

Due to the immense pressure in their deep sea habitat, blobfish do not have a swim bladder or much muscle or fat. Their main internal organs are the stomach and reproductive organs. Since blobfish spend most of their time floating in place to conserve energy, their anatomy and behavior is very different from common fish caught for human consumption.

Taste and Texture

So while it may be physically possible to eat parts of a blobfish, the taste, texture, and nutritional value would be extremely unappealing to humans.

  • The primary texture would be a dense, gelatinous mass with little to no muscle or fat. This would have an extremely unusual mouthfeel compared to common fish.
  • The blobfish would taste quite bland, as it lacks flavors from fat or oil. Its gelatinous flesh would likely taste plain or fishy from stomach contents.
  • Nutritionally, a diet of primarily blobfish would lack key fatty acids, protein, vitamins and minerals needed for the human diet.

Nutritional Value of Blobfish

As amusing as the blobfish may look, it unfortunately does not offer much in the way of nutritional value for human consumption. Here’s a closer look at why blobfish are not on the menu:

Low Fat and Protein

The blobfish is made up of a gelatinous mass that allows it to float weightlessly in its deep sea habitat. This gelatinous composition means the fish has very little muscle and fat content, making it a poor source of protein, healthy fats, and other nutrients we typically look for in seafood.

Density Changes During Capture

The few blobfish that have been captured for research have not retained their natural shape and density. Due to sudden pressure changes when brought to the surface, the boneless and almost “liquid” flesh of the blobfish turns into more of a thick jelly-like substance.

This change in density and composition during capture means what little nutritional content the blobfish has to offer may be altered as well.

Potential Toxins

As a deep sea creature, there is also a risk that blobfish may contain heavy metals, pollutants, and toxins absorbed from its extreme habitat. without thorough testing, the safety of consuming blobfish is unknown.

While the blobby appearance of this fish may inspire some novelty food ideas, the reality is that it provides little nutrition and may even pose some health risks. So while no laws prohibit eating blobfish, it is not likely to become a menu item any time soon!

Legality and Sustainability of Eating Blobfish

Fishing Regulations

Blobfish are found in the deep waters off the coasts of Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania at depths of up to 2,000 meters. Commercial fishing for blobfish is banned across their entire range due to conservation efforts. Recreational fishing for blobfish is also prohibited.

So eating blobfish you catch yourself would be illegal.

In addition, blobfish live in a specialized environment under extreme pressure. When brought to the surface, their bodies lack the connective tissue and dense gelatinous flesh needed to maintain their shape in normal atmospheric pressure.

So even if you could legally catch one, it would likely not survive the trip to the surface.

Environmental Impact

Blobfish populations are extremely vulnerable. Their habitat along the continental slope is being disrupted by deep sea trawling. And their slow growth rate, late maturation, and low reproductive output make overfishing a major threat.

So eating blobfish could have disastrous impacts on remaining populations. Their numbers are already critically low off Tasmania and New Zealand. Further depletion could lead to localized or total extinction of the species.

Sustainably caught fish provide a valuable source of nutrition. But blobfish face too many threats to be considered a viable food source. Conserving their fragile deep sea habitat is essential to prevent their numbers from declining further.

Common Myths and Misconceptions

Despite its unusual appearance, the blobfish has been the subject of several myths and misconceptions over the years. Here are some of the more common ones:

Myth: Blobfish are slimy

While blobfish certainly look slimy in photos, their skin is actually quite firm and gelatinous. They don’t produce any kind of slime or mucus. Their jiggly appearance out of water is simply due to the lack of water pressure causing their bodies to deflate.

Myth: Blobfish are lazy or stupid

Their inert appearance undersea actually belies an efficient lifestyle. Blobfish expend very little energy as they float just above the seabed, waiting for food to drift by. This allows them to thrive in nutrient-poor environments that other fish cannot survive in.

Myth: You can eat blobfish

While not poisonous, their gelatinous flesh is almost entirely water, making blobfish decidedly unappetizing to eat. Their numbers are also very small, meaning they would not make viable food sources. Eating them could further endanger this vulnerable species.

Myth: Blobfish only live near Australia

This myth likely started because the blob sculpin was first discovered off the coast of Tasmania. However, blobfish have since been found in various deep sea habitats across the Southeast Pacific and Southern Oceans. Recent research suggests their range may extend into the Atlantic Ocean as well.

Myth: Blobfish are from another planet

No, blobfish evolved right here on Earth, just like every other fish species! They are specially adapted to thrive at extreme ocean depths of up to 4,000 feet, under immense pressure. This high-pressure environment causes their unique gelatinous appearance.


So in summary – yes, you can technically eat a blobfish. But they are not commercially fished for consumption due to low nutritional value, bland flavor, and tough gelatinous texture. Blobfish are better appreciated alive in their deep sea habitat.

While not toxic, they don’t make for a viable or sustainable food source. We hope this article answered your curiosity about eating these fascinating creatures!

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