There are a lot of scary creatures in the ocean that you wouldn’t want to come across any time soon, and this particular fish is one of those. In this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of facts about the stonefish, one of the most dangerous types of fish in the world!
The venom is found in each of their 13 spines
These fish possess neurotoxins that are located at the base of their 13 dorsal fin spines. These needle-like spines are used as a defense mechanism and are stuck upwards when they feel threatened. This means that if they see a person’s foot approaching from above, the first thing they do is pull out these venomous needles they possess in self-defense and instantly release the toxins that damage the nerve tissue, which is what makes these fish extremely dangerous.
Stonefish are extremely fast ambush predators
One of the most fascinating facts about the stonefish is that they can wait for hours on end until unsuspecting prey passes by, and then shoot up extremely fast to catch it.
This resembles the technique used by stargazer fish, a species of fish that buries itself in the ocean floor and waits until small fish or crustaceans pass by. The main difference is that this type of fish doesn’t have to put in as much effort as they’re already camouflaged. Stonefish can attack their prey in the blink of an eye in about .015 seconds!
They have an even scarier defense mechanism
It seems that nature didn’t feel that the 13 sharp needles containing deadly poison weren’t enough to protect these creatures. Therefore, these fish contain an even deadlier weapon referred to as a “lachrymal saber.” This is the equivalent of a switchblade and is located right on top of the head of these creatures, growing from a bone under the fish’s eyes. They also have the ability to whip it out whenever they feel in danger, making them even more dangerous!
Stonefish can be found laying on the beach as well
Another those interesting fact about the stonefish is that they can survive up to 24 hours outside of the water. This means that the peculiar-looking stone you just came across on the beach may be actually a stonefish! This type of fish comes in various colors as well, ranging from a dull brown or grey to an extremely bright yellow, orange, or red.
They perfectly blend in with their surroundings
The preferred habitat of this creature is reefs and corals in coastal areas, most commonly in shallow marine waters above the Tropic of Capricorn. One of the main reasons that they are so dangerous is that they can perfectly blend in with their surroundings. They lie perfectly still and resemble the rocks or corals around them.
Indigenous Australians have a specific ritual featuring stonefish
Apart from being able to prepare this type of fish in such a way that it can be eaten, the indigenous people of Northern Australia used to have another remarkable ritual referring to stonefish. Before the 1950s, antivenom wasn’t available so it was possible that somebody stepping on a stonefish didn’t make it. Because of that, these tribes had sacred ceremonies referred to as “corroborees” after a person passed away. In this ceremony, the way the person passed away was reenacted.
They are the most venomous fish on the planet
The stonefish is an extremely venomous fish that lives near coastal regions in the Indo-Pacific. Of all the venomous fish in the ocean, these are considered to be the most venomous. Yes, that means that they are extremely dangerous to humans and their sting not only causes extreme pain but can also end up being lethal if not treated correctly.