Puffer fish are one of the most wacky animals on earth.
The term puffer fish actually broadly refers to several species, including puffers, balloonfish, blowfish, bubblefish, globefish, swellfish, toadfish, honey toads, sugar toads, and sea squab.
Running along their backs are sharp spines that become erect once the fish puffs up. Those spines are capable of delivering a neurotoxin that is potent enough to paralyze humans and cause major health issues if the fish are consumed without proper preparation. However, interestingly enough dolphins have been documented using live fish like a recreational drugto catch a minor buzz.
Puffer fish generally grow to around 20 inches in length, but its their ability to adjust their girth on demand that makes the fish so spectacularly whacky.
They are slow swimmers compared to most predatory fish, so puffer fish have developed a unique defense mechanism from which their name is derived – they inflate themselves in order to look bigger and badder than they actually are. When cornered, the fish will fill their big flexible stomach pouches up with either water or air depending on if they’re above or below the sea.
The fish inflate themselves so much that they’re almost perfectly round like a ball when at full inflation.
Once inflated, the exposed spines along their back deter most predators from messing with them, and puffer fish have even been known to choke their attackers by inflating themselves once they’ve already been captured.
This video from the Science & Tech Instagram account perfectly displays just how puffer fish got that name.
Now puff, puff, pass this video on to a buddy today so they too can witness the awesome power of the puffer fish.