This Week in Zoology: Guess Where Pearl Fish Live

This is an example of a pearl fish. It is a quite small, quite slender, scaleless marine fish. The pearl fish are actually a family of fish, encompassing 36 different species. Many of the members of this family have a… well… interesting habitat of choice. They live in the sea, yes, but in a very particular part of the sea.

Can you guess where they live? Go on, guess.


Pearl fish live up the butt of sea cucumbers.

That’s right. For some bizarre reason, evolution brought the pearl fish and the sea cucumber together, and the pearl fish spend most of their time happily hanging out in a rectum. They will poke their heads out, eat a bit, and when they want back in they tickle the sea cucumber’s anus with their tail fin. The sea cucumber obligingly opens up, and back up the pooper they go. Different species also tend to prefer specific species of sea cucumber, but don’t ask me why. Also the sea cucumbers don’t seem to mind them, which I suppose is all for the best.

Need more proof? Here are some amusing pictures of pearl fish in their, uh, natural habitat





That one just looks dirty



  1. lorn says

    If a fish’s lifestyle choice is to live life as a butt plug for a consenting sea cucumber, who am I to object? They seem happy enough together.

    Half a lifetime ago I lived next door to a girl, a slight and flighty thing that I have a problem describing as a woman, who was into colon cleansing. Twice a week, budget allowing, she would troop down to the local ‘healing’ center and have water, mostly water, shot up her ass while relaxing in a cloud of sage smoke and mood music. She claimed it was part of her ‘spiritual path’. Ummm … sure … if you say so.

    Maybe we could find a cooperative fish that’s into that sort of thing for people. Sort of take the high colonic thing to a whole other level. Wooo Wooo. We could go on about ‘oceanic rectal detailing’ and ‘the wisdom of fishes’.

    It wouldn’t work. I will have no truck in animal cruelty … and finding a fish that is demonstrably into it … of age … and able to sign the release forms seems unlikely. Another fine idea shot all to hell.

    It takes all kinds to make a world … ALL kinds.

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