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'Bizarre Unknown' Fish Caught in Malaysia Not So Mysterious

Outline
Social media messages that feature an image of an unusual fish caught in Malaysian waters claim that the bizarre looking fish is a mystery and possible even an alien species.



Brief Analysis
While the fish certainly has an unusual appearance, it is not unknown to science or even particularly rare. And it is certainly not an alien species. In fact, it is an armoured-gurnard, a species of deep sea fish that lives in waters around Japan, the South China Sea, the Philippines and Australia.

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Mystery as Malaysian angler catches bizarre unknown fish

A rare and mysterious fish has been caught in Malaysia, leaving locals baffled.


Detailed Analysis


A circulating image of a strange looking fish caught in Malaysian waters is generating debate and discussion as it travels. The unusual catch has been labelled as bizarre and mysterious. Some more wide-eyed observers have even suggested that the fish might be an alien species.

But, there is actually no mystery at all. The creature certainly has an unusual appearance, but it is not unknown or even rare. And, no, it is not an alien species.

In fact, it is a type of Peristediidae, most probably the Robust armoured-gurnard (Satyrichthys welchi). These fish, which are also called armored searobins, are not particularly rare and have been known to science - and anglers - for a very long time.

According to Fishbase, the species live in waters near Japan, the South China Sea, the Philippines and Australia and have a depth range of between 80 and 228 meters.

The fish are harmless to humans.

Our planet is full of wondrous things and there is no need to embellish such finds by inventing silly stories about them.

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Last updated: November 11, 2013
First published: November 11, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
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References
Mystery as Malaysian angler catches bizarre unknown fish
‘Alien fish’ caught in Miri not out of this world, checks out on Net
Robust armoured-gurnard
Satyrichthys welchi (Herre, 1925)