The stonefish is the most venomous of all fish. It can produce venom that’s most lethal to humans; it can hide itself in its surroundings; it can do a lot of incredible things you may not expect from a fish. Here are five of the most shocking stonefish facts that you want to know should you come across them.
In the underwater world, you don’t have to be the largest creature to be the biggest treat. Despite measuring at only 30 to 40 centimetres, the venom that the stonefish produces is some of the most venomous in the world, and is fatal to not just marine animals but humans too.
For a complete recovery, a sufficient amount of anti-venom is required to quickly to reverse the effects. Symptoms of a stonefish sting starts with excruciating pain and swelling, which quickly develop into paralysis, tissue necrosis, and even heart failure if left untreated.
With their encrusted brown or grey skin, and red or yellow patches, the stonefish has the ability to blend incredibly well with its surroundings .
Not only are they difficult to notice, but due to their size they’re often mistaken for a stone or part of a coral reef. But the failure to distinguish a stonefish from a stone due to this camouflaging can have life-threatening consequences.
It’s often exciting to spot the most disguised critters when diving so remember to take notice of what’s hiding in the rocky seafloor or coral. What other camouflaged critters can you spot in our tank?
All 13 of them. Yes, the stonefish has 13 sharp dorsal fin spines along their back, each armed with two venom glands which release the deadly substance when the fish is disturbed or stepped on. In addition, the stonefish also has two pelvic and three anal spines hidden underneath its thick skin.
How fast, you ask? They can attack their prey in as little as 0.015 seconds.
You might assume that, as the most venomous fish in the sea, stonefish kill their prey using the venom in their spines, but this is not the case – instead, they capture their prey with speed. Stonefish sink in the sand and wait patiently for shrimps or small fish to swim by and then swallow the unsuspecting victim in just a fraction of a second. Despite this incredible speed, they are generally very slow swimmers, except when they hunt.
Unlike most species of fish, the stonefish is able to survive for up a full day out of water, which is an uncommon trait among the deep-sea animal kingdom. This is why you should be extra precaution when walking on beaches, where they’re known to be present(!) – but only in the coastal regions of Indian and Pacific oceans.
Here’s a bonus fact about the stonefish: you can come and see one up close at Blue Planet Aquarium!
Book your tickets today and save 10% on entry prices.