It’s a delight to catch a decent fish. Some of us will have even landed a specimen – one of the greatest joys for anyone who dabbles with rod and fishing reel.
But here we take a look at some slightly different records of the watery world. The biggest the smallest, the rarest, the longest and of course – the weirdest.
A survivor from the age of the dinosaurs, the whale shark is the biggest fish in the sea. But unlike ‘Jaws’, these gentle giants feed on tiny sea creatures – plankton.
Whale sharks are vast – the largest confirmed specimen weighed over 21 metric tonnes and measured more than 41 feet long.
In Vietnamese culture the huge creatures are revered as a deity. Meanwhile, officials in the Philippines have made whale sharks the fishy face of the 100 Peso banknote (worth £1.50).
The world’s smallest aquarium measures just 30mm x 24mm x 14mm. The miniature tank (which held just 10 ml) of water was unveiled in 2011 by Anatoly Konenko from Omsk, Russia.
The tank was perfect – complete with decorative stones and plants, but was let down by the stocking. Zebrafish were introduced to the mini ecosystem, though they’re small, they’re not the smallest fish.
That title goes to the Paedocypris fish – a type of carp that lives in the swamps of Sumatra. At 7.9 mm, it’s the smallest vertebrate on earth – surely the perfect occupant for such a tiny tank.
From the smallest to the longest – the Oarfish, otherwise known as King of Herrings measures up to a whopping 56 feet.
When they’re sick or dying, these incredible fish tend to languish in the shallows. It’s thought that ancient sightings of sea serpents were, in fact, oarfish.
In Japanese folklore, the fish is known as the ‘Messenger from the Sea God’s Palace’. Increased numbers of oarfish were observed in Japanese waters during 2009 and 2010. But, as if warned off by the Sea God himself, they disappeared 12 months before the devastating 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
When you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. That’s a slight exaggeration but you have to go a long way to find a Devils Hole Pupfish.
In fact, to catch a glimpse of the rarest fish on earth, you need to go to Devils Hole, an insignificant pool in the Amargosa Desert in Nevada, USA.
If you haven’t already died of heat and thirst, ignore the circling vultures and head for the hole. There you’ll struggle to find any pupfish – they’re less than an inch long and there are only an estimated 35 of them left.
There are any number of candidates for the title of weirdest fish – but the honour is awarded to….
The moray eel.
They may look friendly, but keep away. Here’s why.
When a normal fish bites you that’s one pair of jaws chomping on your leg (or worse…). But when a Moray eel gets a hold of you, it bites – and then it bites you again with its SECOND PAIR OF JAWS.
That’s right – Moray eels have two sets of gnashers. The first bite gets a good hold so that the second jaws can poke forward from its throat to drag you further in.
Anyone for a swim? The water’s lovely!