Adorably ugly. Funny-looking and awkward. The Seattle Aquarium is not mincing words about a new fish exhibit featuring eight Pacific spiny lumpsuckers.
The golf ball-shaped cold-water fish is now on display, for a limited time, in the eelgrass area of the aquarium’s Puget Sound Fish alongside the sailfin sculpin and high cockscomb.
The fish — found in various locations including in northern Washington, the Bering Sea, Siberia and northern Japan — are covered in bumps called tubercles, which provide a cartilage coat that keep the fish afloat. Jelly deposits under its skin also helps it stay upright.
Lumpsuckers, which averages between one to two inches long, also uses its pelvic fins as suction cups to attach and blend into rocks and their surroundings to hide from predators like crabs and octopus.
The aquarium advises looking for them inside the barnacle shells around the habitat.
The “swimming golf balls” come directly from the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco and have been waiting in a chilled system at the Seattle aquarium until the incoming water was cold enough, according to an aquarium blog post.
Don’t wait long to check out the exhibit as they may go back behind the scenes in late spring to keep them at their ideal temperature.