In bizarre outdoor news, lobster fisherman Jacob Knowles posted a video on Instagram of a wolf fish he hauled up in one of his lobster traps. To me, the uninitiated, this looks less like a fish and more like a claymation rendering of what someone thought something called a “wolf fish” might look like. It’s gross, terrifying, and fascinating. I can’t look away, even though I really want to.
Knowles takes the opportunity to teach his Instagram following a little bit about the wolf fish while he tries to pick it up. Once he gets his gloved hands around it–one on the tail, the other clamped around the neck–he lifts the fish up to show the camera. It rears its head to the side, trying to bite a chunk out of any flesh it can reach.
“Oh look, it’s trying to bite me,” says Knowles. “And they can bite, too.” They certainly have the teeth for it. Upon researching the wolf fish, I found that they have chompers like a kid whose mouth is in that weird stage between baby and adult teeth. When you see it, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
According to Oceana, these big-headed, toothy predators can grow upwards of 5 feet long. They eat mainly hard-shelled invertebrates like sea urchins, crabs, large snails, and, as Knowles tells us in the video, lobsters. Wolf fish live exclusively in the North Atlantic, and because of this, various properties in their blood prevent them from freezing in the cold waters. Though it is edible, there are considerable conservation efforts for the fish. Their dwindling numbers in the US is cause for concern, as they regulate sea urchin and snail populations.
Lobster Fisherman Hauls in Feisty Wolf Fish, Gives It a Lobster, and Throws it Overboard
Knowles continued to handle the wolf fish, sharing some information about the interesting species. “It killed everything in the trap,” he said. “We don’t get them very often. They’re protected, we let them go as soon as we get them.”
He then prepared to throw the fish overboard. “I guess we’ll give him a snack, seeing as he already killed everything,” he said. He then made a sidenote before giving the fish his snack. “I gave the wolf fish one of the dead [lobsters] that he’d already killed.”
The caption over the video read, “This is not a live lobster. This is a lobster the wolf fish already killed. Lobster is one [of] wolf fish’s main food sources. This is mother nature’s brutal circle of life at its finest. After the wolf fish is dead and gone then it’s the lobster’s turn to eat him!”
Knowles then held the fish close to the dead lobsters. It bit right down on one with an audible crunch, and Knowles threw the fish and his prize back into the ocean. Goodbye for now, horrifying wolf fish. Until next time.