Bug-eyed fish discovered by exploration team in S’pore, unique species freaks viewers out

Bug-eyed fish spotted in Singapore with head protruding out of sand

Last month, an exploration team took to Instagram to share about its discovery of a unique-looking fish while exploring wildlife in Singapore.

Named the Longnosed Stargazer, it was found poking its head out of the sand by the ocean in Singapore.

Footage of the fish soon went viral on Instagram, with netizens expressing that the sight of the distinctively unique-looking animal freaked them out.

Exploration team spots bug-eyed fish in Singapore

A local wildlife exploration team, The Untamed Paths aka @untamed_paths on Instagram, shared footage of the species to the social media platform on 18 May.

Source: @untamed_paths on Instagram

With its bug-eyed look and downturned mouth, it makes for quite a startling sight.

The Untamed Paths explained that the fish typically stays buried in the sand whilst only exposing their head, seemingly gazing up at the stars while waiting for unsuspecting prey.

They also contain pectoral fins which act as shovels, helping them to bury themselves deep within the sand.

Source: @untamed_paths on Instagram

In addition, the species contains similarities to stonefishes and scorpionfishes by possessing venomous spines which deliver painful stings.

Footage of the fish which The Untamed Paths posted shows the fish seemingly waiting for prey with its head exposed, before swiftly submerging itself back into the sand.

Source: @untamed_paths on Instagram

“An uncommon and fascinating sight,” The Untamed Paths said. “Definitely an uncommon sight in Singapore!”

Netizens freaked out at sight

The post quickly went viral with more than a million likes, many expressing their shock — and fear — over the unique appearance of the fish.

Source: Instagram

One user went so far as to state that they would likely “die” if they ever spotted the fish while out and about in Singapore.

Source: Instagram

Another netizen described it as looking similar to a French bulldog.

Source: Instagram

And there were those who had a brutally honest message for the team behind the discovery.

Source: @untamed_paths on Instagram

Sightings of such species should not be met with disgust or fear

Speaking to MS News, 30-year-old Dennis Chan, the spokesperson and facilitator of the exploration team, explained that they found the fish while exploring an intertidal zone on the northern shores of Singapore at around 8am.

An intertidal zone refers to a location where the ocean meets the land between low and high tides.

Source: National Parks Board for illustration purposes only

This made the experience even more memorable, as compared to spotting it on the seabed while diving.

“It was my first time encountering a stargazer in Singapore,” Mr Chan added. “It had just the head protruding out of the sand. Stargazers do so naturally while waiting for unsuspecting prey to pass by.”

Acknowledging the comments received regarding the fish’s appearance, he noted that this should not be the case when encountering such species in the wild.

“These animals that live in our midst should not be seen as ugly, unwanted nor feared and that was not what the video was intended for,” he said.

For us at The Untamed Paths, our dream was always for us to be the bridge between human and wildlife and to build positively on the curiosity that these animals bring to us.

Singapore described as a city with immense biodiversity

Mr Chan added that such marine creatures should instead evoke a sense of wonder, awe, and appreciation for the natural world.

“There is so much to observe, discover, and learn about these fascinating creatures in the world that we live in, especially so in Singapore, where we are in a region of great marine biodiversity,” he said.

“It’s our hope that when people think of biodiversity in Singapore that they consider naturally occuring wildlife across our diverse ecosystems from forests, mangroves, and the intertidal zone.”

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Featured image adapted from @untamed_paths on Instagram.

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