Shortly after the holtfish hatches its skin acquires an eerie green glow, and after a couple of days deep pores begin to form in its surface. As it matures these pores become deeper and begin to merge, forming a complex of tubes and caverns inside the creatures body.

During the holtfish’s juvenile phase it makes the one and only trip of its life to the surface. It travels from the sea to freshwater rivers, where it seeks out holts containing newborn otter cubs. Using long tendrils which emerge from the holes in its upper body, the holtfish grabs these cubs and stuffs them into the holes in its abdomen. Once its caverns are filled, the holtfish descends to the sea floor where it continues to mature along with the otters (which are sustained within its body via an unknown mechanism).

The reasons for this bizarre ritual and the purpose served by the otters are currently unknown, but it is thought by scientists that an understanding of how the mammals manage to survive inside the inhospitable environment of the holtfish could be of great significance.

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One thought on “Holtfish

  1. eewwwww, why!!! 😦

    But yay to horrifying life cycles. I should show you some of the parasitic fungus/wasp larvae bursting through hosts pictures I get on my newsfeed…

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