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Large School of Fish Frozen in Place near the Coast of Norway

This winter’s been a rough one so far. There are so many pictures online of frozen cities and towns. The season has been bad for Canada and the US, due to the much discussed polar vortex. The UK is said to be facing the worst winter in decades.

The extreme temperatures have been keeping people indoors, but not all creatures have a place to take shelter from the cold. Like this large school of fish that froze solid on the coast of Lovund – a small island off of Norway. It isn’t clear what the fish were doing so close to the coast but the incredible photos of them frozen as they swam in their usual patterns have been doing the rounds online for the past couple of days.

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Unique Archerfish Spits Jets of Water to Shoot Down Its Prey

The water-pistol is a harmless toy for children, but apparently it can be a lethal weapon too. This particular species of fish makes use of water jets and the laws of physics to aim at and stun its prey.

The aptly named archerfish employs a unique process to hunt land based insects and small animals – it aims, spits, and stuns. It lurks under the surface of the water, waiting for unsuspecting insects to land nearby. Then, it spits out water jets at a great force, instantly killing the prey. The entire process takes just one-tenth of a second.

An archerfish can bring down insects as far as three meters above the water’s surface. Once it selects the prey, it rotates its eyes so that the prey’s image falls on a particular part of the eye. Then it presses its tongue against the groove on the roof of its mouth to form a narrow channel, and contracts its gill covers to issue a powerful jet of water through the channel. The power of this shot can be altered for prey of different sizes. The jet can be up to five meters long.

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The Pacific Barreleye Fish and Its Weird See-Through Head

The Pacific Barreleye fish gets its name from large eyes that are literally shaped like barrels, topped with beautiful green lenses. Also known as the Macropinna microstoma, its head is completely transparent, filled with fluid. This unique creature lives at depths of around 2000 to 2,600 ft. The Pacific Barreleye’s see-through head may seem weird, but it has a very clear purpose –  to help it see better in the dark waters that it inhabits.

The Barreleye’s eyes have been found to be incredibly sensitive, snapping up any stream of light available. Unlike most other fish, both the eyes are in the front of the head and point in the same direction, which gives it amazing binocular vision. So the Barreleye is able to spot faint objects that other fish cannot, making it a feared predator. It’s extremely fascinating, how it searches for prey. It starts off by staying still, eyes pointed upward in search of prey. Sometimes the eyes are rotated to face forwards, or the eyes are still and the body is rotated so that the mouth is pointing in the same direction as the eyes. When tiny silhouettes of prey are spotted, the Barreleye moves in exactly the same direction to catch them. Its flat, horizontal fins help it to swim very precisely. This method is so efficient that it is sometimes able to even snatch food away from the stinging tentacles of other deep sea creatures. Its mouth is really tiny so that’s of great help as well, and the transparent shield makes it immune to stings.

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These Fish Are So Delicious You’ll Soil Yourself, Literally

Buttery and succulent, the related oil fish (Ruvettus pretiosus)  and escolar (Lepidocybium flavobrunneum)) are considered to be two of the most palatable fish in the world. But before you run out to your local fish market in search of these delicacies, you’d better stock up on toilet paper because you’re going to spend a lot of time in the restroom after your scrumptious meal.

With such a large number of species in danger of  being over-fished and others posing health risks due to their high mercury content, the seafood industry needs alternatives that taste great, are cheap, sustainable and healthy to consume. The oilfish and escolar seem perfect choices, and although they’ve been popping up in restaurants and fish markets around the world, there is one dirty little secret that those who sell them sometimes forget to reveal – they cause explosive, oily, orange diarrhea. I know it sounds bad, but there is a way to avoid this embarrassing and highly uncomfortable side effect. The fish are safe to eat if they are consumed in portions smaller than six ounces, but most people are either unaware of the consequences or they just can’t help themselves because they are so damn delicious, so they go for full servings. People who actually went through this kind of ordeal have reported the oily discharges are almost impossible to control and often lead to embarrassing accidents.

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The Ocellated Ice Fish – World’s Only Vertebrate with Transparent Blood

Every animal with bones hemoglobin in its blood, which carries oxygen through its body and gives blood its red color. Every animal except one – the ocellated ice fish which has water-clear blood.

The ocean’s depth have revealed a series of odd life forms in recent years, from giant squid to translucent sea anemones, but scientists say the ocellated ice fish discovered in 2011 is among the most fascinating creatures the world over.  This unique fish lives in the ice-cold waters of Antarctica at depths of up to 3,300 feet (1 kilometer), and the only specimens in captivity can be found at Japan’s Tokyo Sea Life Park. Apart from the fact that it has transparent blood and no scales, the ocellated ice fish is not much different than most of the fish species living in Earth’s waters.  But its two special traits have researchers baffled. Because hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen through the body of vertebrates, it’s not yet clear how this species can survive without the metalloprotein which binds with oxygen. Several theories have been formulated on the subject, with some scientists speculating that the unusually large heart of the ocellated ice fish might help move oxygen using plasma instead of hemoglobin, and others saying that it may be able to absorb oxygen through its scale-free skin from the oxygen-rich waters of Antarctica. But the truth is very little is known about this fascinating creature and there are yet no facts to back up the claims.

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Japanese Fisherman-Turned-Artist Creates Skeletal Artworks from Dead Animals

Believe it or not, the Japanese use fish for something else than sushi. Take Iori Tomita, a former fisherman who now creates creepy works of art from various dead marine specimens.

28-year-old Iori Tomita uses scientific techniques of preserving and dyeing to transform dead fish into brightly-colored glowing pieces of art. The former fisherman applies over 10 different chemicals to each specimen, which break down the muscle proteins, making it transparent and revealing the skeleton. He then uses red and blue dyes to highlight the hard and soft cartilage. It sounds easy enough, but it’s really a complex eight-stage process which takes Tomita three months to a year to complete, depending on the size of the animals he’s trying to turn into morbid works of art.

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Would You Believe These Goldfish Are Actually Painted?

Japanese artist Riusuke Fukahori paints incredibly realistic three-dimensional goldfish embedded in layers of transparent resin. His artworks look more like photos of actual fish swimming peacefully in their little tanks.

Riusuke Fukahori’s work could best be described as a a combination between painting and sculpture. The talented artist creates his “living masterpieces”using a complex process involving layers of cast resin and acrylic paint. He patiently builds up his fish, layer by layer, adding transparent resin to create a realistic three-dimensional effect. Despite the tedious and complex nature of the artistic process, the end results are highly dynamic, capturing the animated life of the fish.

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Ball Cutter Fish Kills Fishermen by Biting off Their Testicles

Man-eating predators have always been part of legend and folk-lore. But here we have news of a real-life monster, interested in only one part of the human anatomy – the testicles.

The monster in question is in fact a 40lb fish called Pacu, found in the waters of Papua New Guinea. The Pacu are notorious for having eaten up the testicles of swimmers and anglers caught unawares, leaving them to bleed to death. This has led to the creatures being nicknamed ‘Ball Cutter’ fish. Initially, the villagers could only describe the monster-fish as something mysterious, like a ‘human in the water’. They finally got to see the predator up-close when a Pacu fish was recently caught by Jeremy Wade, a 53-year old British Fisherman, as a part of his TV series called River Monsters. The muscular fish was hard to catch, but Wade managed to track it down, reel it into his boat and wrestle it into submition. When he opened its jaws up with his hands, the teeth of the Pacu were found to be quite similar to human ones.

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Amazing Catch in Congo River : 5ft long 100lbs Giant Piranha

You probably all know the famous fisherman from Animal Planet’s River Monsters, Jeremy Wade. While he was on a fishing expedition with his crew in Africa, up the Congo River, the British angler made an amazing and rarely catch : he grappled with a giant piranha and managed to defeat the monster after a serious fight.

The result was astonishing as the 52-year-old fisherman pulled out of water a 5ft long goliath tigerfish and held it with both arms for fear of being bitten by its 32 razor-sharp teeth that have the same dimensions as those of a white shark. The goliath tigerfish is well known as being one of the most dangerous freshwater fish in the world, so Wade said he was extremely cautious when he pulled it out of water.

The 100lbs monster hasn’t been caught more than a few times before because of its ferocity and its habitat, which is very hard to reach. The giant piranha seems to consume prey the same size at itself and there have been cases when others have seen it tearing apart crocodiles or even people.

Jeremy Wade’s catch, the “giant piranha”, can easily be on top when we talk about world’s most terrifying creatures.

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Fisherman Catches 1,000 Different Species of Fish

47 -year-old Steve Wozniak, a lure fisherman from California, has traveled the world over, in his quest to catch as many different species of fish as possible. So far he managed to catch 1,000 species, from a colorful Threadfin Butterflyfish to a 410 kilogram shark.

Believe it or not, Steve Wozniak has spent the last 10 years, and $75,000 traveling to 63 different countries in the search for new species of fish to put on his list. He flew over 1 million air miles, and spent over 20,000 hours holding his trusty rod and hoping for a bite. But all his efforts paid out when he finally caught his 1,000th fish species, a Norwegian coalfish, and set a new world record.

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The World’s 6 Most Disgusting Fish Dishes

I’ve never been a big fan of fish, but hunger has made me gobble down trout after trout, a few times. But there are some fish dishes I’d rather die than put in my mouth. If you thought eating raw fish, like sushi, was disgusting, I suggest you get a bag ready, before scrolling down, just to be sure, because you’re about to discover the most disgusting fish dishes in the world.

Surströmming

Also known as “sour Baltic herring”, Surströmming is a Swedish dish consisting of fermented hering. It usually comes in cans that, due to the fermentation, often bulge. As long as the can stays closed, Surströmming isn’t much of a problem, but as soon as the lid comes off, the odour becomes too much to bare. This is the main reason even fans of Surströmming prefer to eat this fish dish outdoors. In 2006, several airlines banned Surströmming, claiming the cans were potentially explosive. Swedish authoritis say that’s just a myth, but why risk it? If the can doesnt kill you, the smell probably will.

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Red Dragon – King of China’s Fish Tanks

The Red Dragon fish, also known as Arowana, is considered a good luck charm, in Chinese culture, and sells for unbelievably high prices.

The Arowana is an amazing fish that grows up to a meter in length, and can live up to 25 years. But it’s not these traits that make it so popular among China’s rich and famous, but its resemblance to a dragon. As you may know, Chinese people consider themselves descendants of dragons,  and many of them would pay big money, to own their very own dragon. The older the fish, the more expensive it is, kind of like a good wine.

Red Dragon fish are believed to bring good luck and prosperity to their owners, and some people pay as much as $8,000 to own one. Most Arowana owners prefer to keep them in secret locations, away from prying eyes, where no one else can enjoy the good fortune they bring.

The red-gold coloring and the name “Dragon” have made the Arowana fish a sought after social symbol, and have brought the species to the brink of extinction.

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Tattooed Fish Sold as Lucky Charms in China

Tattooed Parrot Fish and other species of ornamental fish are becoming quite popular at a pet-shop in Chengdu, China.

Known as Fortune Fish, these tattooed swimmers bear patterns, such as flowers and rainbows, and characters that are said to bring good fortune and happiness to their owners. The tattoos were apparently done with lasers and made the common Parrot Fish quite popular.

A normal Parrot Fish sells for 10 yuan, while a tattooed Fortune Fish sells for 25 yuan.

via ImagineChina

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Fish Need Healthcare Too

I’m sure that’s what Patit Paban Halder thought to himself when he decided to open up a fish hospital in the comfort of his own home, in India.

The Fish Hospital of Chandannagore, India, is the only one of its kind. Halder, together with his wife and son, has set up a 32-aquarium facility where they observe and treat sick ornamental fish. The fish doctor does rounds, takes blood sample, checks them for fungus and bacteria and even gives the tiny fish injections.

I don’t know how many of his patience actually make it out of the hospital, but the mere effort of trying to save them is worth my respect.

Photos by DESHAKALYAN CHOWDHURY/AFP/Getty Images

via LIFE

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The Incredible Doctor Fish

Actually, I’m not just talking about one, but hundreds of small “doctor fish” treating serious skin conditions like psoriasis.

Garra Rufa Obtusa, also referred to as Doctor Fish, is a special species of fish, found in northern and central parts of the Middle East. In countries like Turkey, people have started breading them artificially, in giant basins, and use them to treat severe skin diseases.

The small fish can survive in waters as hot as 43 degrees Celsius and love to fed on dead tissue. The little miracle workers aren’t fed, so when patients dip their sick limbs into the water, they act like a pack of gentle piranhas, nibbling with their gummy mouths.

Doctor Fish aren’t recognized as a cure for Psoriasis, although there have been cases of complete healing following a treatment at a Doctor Fish Spa, but they do help improve the condition of the patients, at least temporarily. The fish eat away the red, scaly spots on the patients’ bodies and the mineral water helps the healing process. Thousands of patients travel to Doctor Fish Spas, like the one in Kangal, Turkey, and spend 21 days being eaten alive by the Garra Rufa Obtusa, in two daily four-hour sessions.

Doctor Fish cosmetic facilities have become very popular recently, and you can find them in countries like Japan, Malaysia or China.  After all, Doctor Fish are a lot healthier than a chemical exfoliation.

Photos by Xianhua/Reuters, via People.com.cn

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