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Pop-Up Cafe Aims to Redeem Misunderstood "World's Ugliest Fish"

Life’s not easy for the gelatinous Blobfish. A new educational restaurant wants to change that.

image via (cc) flickr user james joel

Let’s not kid ourselves here: The blobfish is ugly. Very ugly. Comically ugly.

While its defining blobbiness is an evolutionary necessity which allows the gelatinous ocean-dweller to survive under the immense pressure of thousands of feet of water, it’s certainly not winning any beauty contests in the process. In fact, the only contest the blobfish has ever won was the 2013 “World’s Ugliest Animal” competition, after which the humble Psychrolutes marcidus ceased being obscure aquatic oddity, and instead rocketed to international fame as the standard-bearer for unattractive animals everywhere. But, as we all (hopefully) learned in elementary school, it’s not what someone looks like, it’s what’s inside that counts. Surely the blobfish, for all its melty-faced acclaim, has other redeeming qualities as well.

image via (cc) flickr user grufnik

That’s what the owners of an upcoming blobfish-themed pop-up cafe are hoping to convey to anyone interested in learning a little more about these misunderstood creatures. The simply-named “Blobfish Cafe” will be “the world’s first pop-up aquarium” and will feature not one, but three live blobfish (“Barry,” Lorcan,” and “Lady Smith”) in a specially constructed tank able to duplicate the deep-water pressure of their natural habitat. Why? As the cafe’s website explains: “Education, education, education. We want people to be able to look the blobfish in the eyes.” Guests will reportedly be treated to both lunches and dinners, as well as “weekly gourmet nights during which [the cafe] will serve a full eight course deep sea themed tasting menu” (the blobfish themselves, which reportedly cost $100,000 a piece, are presumably not on the menu.)

Animal themed pop-up cafes are nothing new, and details about this latest exotic offering are scarce beyond what’s available on their website. Some experts have even been left wondering whether this whole project isn’t simply an elaborate hoax. Callum Roberts, a professor of marine biology at the University of York told Mashable: “I'm very sceptical about any of this. As with any deep sea species it's quite difficult to get them to survive – it takes a great deal of specialist skill to keep deep sea creatures in an aquarium... I would question whether it's all a prank.”

Assuming it is, in fact, a real venture, the blobfish cafe is slated to open sometime in the summer of 2016. Until then, anyone desperate to get their blobfish fix can either try looking two to four thousand feet under the water off the Australian coast, or simply follow Lorcan—one of the cafe’s blobby trio—on Twitter, instead.

image via blobfish cafe

[via worthly]

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