Skip to main content

The Black Swallower Fish Will Haunt Your Dreams

blackswallower
Tamarin Norwood/UK

This nightmarish fish from the deep ocean isn’t about to let its size get in the way of eating whatever it wants.

The black swallower lives up to its name by being able to consume prey 10 times its own mass and twice its length. It grows to only about 10 inches, but can chow down on species much larger than its main body by storing them in its massive distended stomach.

Just imagine what damage this monster could do at the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest.

blackswallower3
Visual Photos

To begin eating prey, the black swallower starts at the tail and slowly works its way down. Sometimes, its eyes are a little too big for its stomach: It can die from ingesting too much, as the meal may decompose in its stomach before it can be digested. The decomposing body releases gases that force the black swallower to the surface, where it cannot survive.

Often, the fish is found dead from these overeating incidents, like in the picture below.

blackswallower2
Barcroft

More from Wide Open Spaces:

No, don’t go toward the light! The deep sea anglerfish

Weird, rare deep sea “ghost shark” spotted

Freaky ‘sea devil’ fish will creep you out

OK, that picture is kind of gross, but a few of us may be sympathetic to the little guy’s plight.

On Thanksgiving, a lot of us ate far more than we could handle, and paid for it at the end of the day, but luckily survived the gorge.

 

you might also like

The Black Swallower Fish Will Haunt Your Dreams