Scientists recently discovered a new species of frogfish that bounces off the ocean floor like a rubber ball, instead of elegantly gliding like other fishes.
The stunning-looking fish, dubbed Psychedelic, has Nemo-like orange stripes, interspersed with tan stripes that extend across its body, all the way to its bright greenish-blue eyes. The fish's soft, sponge-like body is covered with layers of skin, that protect it from the sharp edges of the coral floor. Scientists believe that its color has evolved over time, so that it can blend in with the beautiful coral around.
The bouncing fish is very similar to other frogfish in that it has leg-like fins on both sides of its body. Frogfish use these along with tiny gills that expel jets of water to 'walk' in the water. However the Psychedelic has an off-center tail that causes it 'bounce' around in a seemingly aimless fun way, just like a rubber ball.
The fish was discovered by a scuba diving instructor off the shore of the Ambon Islands in Eastern Indonesia, who referred it to a professor at the University of Washington. After conducting a number of tests, it was identified as new species of the frogfish family.
Frogfish are generally smaller fish that dwell near the bottom of the ocean, typically near the coral reef. Their camouflage is helped by their unique ability to change their color depending on the background and the numerous warts and filaments on their skin that allow them to blend in completely with the coral and await their prey.