If you’ve ever heard of a puffer fish, you probably already know about one of its coolest tricks—the ability to inhale air or water into its elastic stomach until it doubles, or even triples, in size.
But that’s just one of the many amazing things about puffer fish—also known as blowfish, swellfish, globefish, balloonfish, or bubblefish—that separates it from the rest of its fish friends.
According to National Geographic, there are more than 120 species of puffer fish around the world.
While most live in saltwater environments, there are freshwater and brackish puffer fish as well.
Brackish means they live in areas where saltwater and freshwater mix!
Unlike many fish you’ve probably seen, puffer fish do not have scales.
Instead, they’re tough-skinned and many are covered in spines. When they inflate, the smooth spines stand on end.
This makes the puffer fish one tough snack to swallow!
But swallowing a puffer fish should be the least of a predator’s concerns.
They’re loaded with a substance called tetrodotoxin—an ultra deadly neurotoxin.
A single puffer fish contains enough poison to kill up to 30 adult humans!