New Philly Exhibit Sheds Light on the Elusive “Assfish”

Stephan Salisbury at The Inquirer:

Light completely disappears from the ocean after a mere 1,000 meters.

The water is cold down there, too, maybe 38 to 39 degrees.

And the weight of the water on any creature at the very bottom is the equivalent of 1,600 elephants on the top of a small car, according to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

That’s a lot of elephants for a small car.

But not too many for the bony-eared assfish, the ratfish ghostie, the giant tube worm, or some other less-than-glamorous sounding fish who will be taking a star turn in “Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss,” the exhibition going up at the Academy of Natural Sciences on April 2 for a run through July 24.

Wait what? The “assfish?” Like a donkey? A donkey fish?

Unfortunately if you go to the exhibit, you’re not going to see a REAL assfish. That’s because if you pull one out of water it apparently melts into a puddle, because it’s meant to live in the deep ocean and not the Delaware Valley. But apparently the “assfish” name is suitable, because this thing has the smallest brain-to-body weight ratio among all vertebrates on the planet, even smaller than Cowboys fans. Heyo!

Anyway, we’re having some fun out here. The assfish. If you don’t know, then now you know.