Pufferfish are comical to look at and full of personality. These quirky fish are found in saltwater and freshwater, too, and are kept by many aquarists as pets.
However, the puffer is notoriously territorial and aggressive, so tank mates are not an option unless you have a huge tank with plenty of cover and hiding places. Also, pufferfish are carnivores, so keeping snails, shrimp, and crabs is not an option, as they will certainly finish up on the puffer’s menu.
All that said, puffers do have cute faces and a certain appeal that lends itself to humor.
With that in mind, check out these amusing pufferfish memes that we’ve found for your entertainment!
Puffer Fish – The Ugly Truth Behind The Smile
Before we get to the funnies, let’s learn more about these fish.
Pufferfish belong to the Tetraodontidae family of fishes, which contains a huge variety of marine and freshwater puffer species, ranging in size from the tiny pea puffer to the giant Mbu puffer that grows to reach 26 inches in length.
All puffers have four large, fused teeth that the fish use to crush the shells of mollusks and crustaceans, which form most of the puffers’ wild diet. If you keep a pufferfish, you’ll need to clip its teeth periodically to prevent them from becoming overgrown.
When pufferfish are alarmed, they inflate their bodies to make themselves look bigger and more threatening. Many puffer species have flattened spines that stand upright when the fish blows itself up as a defensive mechanism.
Most pufferfish species are highly toxic, ranking among the most poisonous vertebrate animals on the planet.
The fish’s internal organs, and sometimes the creature’s skin, contain a highly poisonous chemical called tetrodotoxin, which is extremely toxic to most animals if ingested. Despite that, some puffer species are considered to be a delicacy in Japan, China, and Korea. Here, only highly-trained chefs can prepare the fish for safe eating. There are also a few non-toxic puffers that are regarded as a delicacy in other parts of the world, including the US.
The toxin that puffers contain is actually produced by bacteria inside the fish. The bacteria are ingested by the fish when they’re grazing on the reef and eating invertebrates and mollusks. Tetrodotoxin is over 1,000 times more deadly than cyanide, and 100 times as deadly as black widow spider venom, making it one of the most toxic natural substances on earth!
Did You Know?
Did you know that the species Torquigener albomaculosus was once described as “the greatest artist of the animal kingdom” by Sir David Attenborough?
That’s because the male fish creates a sand nest of incredible geometric designs simply to attract a mate.
Fascinating Facts About Pufferfish
Here are a few interesting facts about the pufferfish that you can use to impress your friends!
Pufferfish Can Close Their Eyes
Pufferfish don’t have eyelids. But they can still close their eyes!
The fish do so by pulling their eyeballs deep into their eye sockets, sinking the eyeballs to a depth of around 70% of the eye’s total diameter. The puffer then squeezes the skin around the eye to close the eye completely. Genius!
As well as being one of the most poisonous creatures on the planet, puffers can inflate themselves so that they appear to be much larger than they really are.
The fish gulp water into their stomach, blowing themselves up into a spiny ball that can be up to four times their usual size! However, the inflation technique is very stressful for the fish, so they only resort to that when seriously in danger.
Puffers Have Spines Not Scales!
Most puffer species don’t have scales like ordinary fish. Instead, they have spines that stand upright when the fish puffs itself up.
Juvenile Puffers Are Cannibals
Once it’s grown its baby teeth, juvenile Tiger pufferfish larvae begin attacking their younger, toothless siblings. Even worse, the feisty baby Tigers rip lumps out of their brothers and sisters, as their mouths are too small to swallow them whole.
Dolphins Use Pufferfish To Get High
That’s often assumed to be an urban myth, but it’s actually true!
According to a BBC documentary called “Spy In The Pod,” dolphins do get high from mouthing on pufferfish! The incredible footage shows the dolphins passing a puffer between their companions for up to half an hour at a time, apparently playing with it.
The pufferfish inflates itself in a defensive reflex, but the dolphins don’t harm it, and the puffer usually swims away unharmed. Meanwhile, the dolphins swim around dreamily, as if enjoying a pleasant high that’s presumably caused by the pufferfish toxin.
Puffer Fish Eating Carrot Meme
Here’s a highly controversial video of a pufferfish being force-fed a stick of carrot and “singing” a song.
Note that the fish has puffed itself up in a defensive posture and is held out of the water for a long time, which is clearly not what you should do with any fish. The “amusing” sounds that the fish makes are actually the distressed creature attempting to breathe.
Also, pufferfish are carnivorous, so feeding the fish a carrot is absolutely not what these creatures would do in nature.
Although people who don’t know anything about puffers might find this video clip amusing, it really isn’t.
Please don’t try this at home.
15 Funny, Adorable, And Popular Puffer Fish Memes
Now, here’s a selection of 15 funny, adorable, and popular pufferfish memes to make you smile!
Adorable Pufferfish Items You Can Give As A Gift
This pufferfish birthday card is specially designed with hobbyists and fishermen in mind. The cute card is packed with amusing puns and images that are sure to make the birthday boy or girl smile.
I Don’t Give a Hootie & The Damn Blowfish
This fun T-shirt bears the legend, “I Don’t Give a Hootie & The Damn Blowfish,” above a picture of a gorgeous pufferfish. Those of you who remember the 90s, as I do, will be familiar with that iconic rock band!
Funny Pufferfish Poster
If you want a piece of quirky wall art, check out this pufferfish poster that comes complete with a neat frame. Perfect for a student dorm, I think.
Questions And Answers
The Puffer Mechanism
A pufferfish went to a surgeon because his puffer mechanism wasn’t working properly.
When he got back, he talked with his fish friends for a bit.
They asked him, “How did your surgery go? Did they fix your puffer?”
He replied, “It went *swell*.”
Puff Puff Pass?
TIL Dolphins deliberately get high on the nerve toxins of pufferfish by chewing on them and passing them around
Talk about ‘puff puff pass,’ amirite?
Fishing For Life
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day
Give a man a pufferfish, and you feed him for a lifetime
I was telling my dad how dolphins get high by chewing on pufferfish toxins, and all he could say was, “How else would they get high? They can’t light and smoke it.”
I hope you enjoyed this selection of pufferfish-related memes. If you did, please share.
Pufferfish can make wonderful pets, and they’re always a talking point when your friends come to visit. These comical-looking fish can pack a punch, though, with their toxic skin and spines, so you must always handle your puffer with care!
Do you have any hilarious pufferfish jokes? Share with us in the comments box below!