What this eel actually is, is a goby fish, caught off the Malaysian coast by Anuar Pak Tam. So it’s not an eel at all. Chances are this doesn’t look like an goby fish you’ve seen, since they tend to look more fish-like. With over 2,000 species in over 200 genera, this is probably one of the lesser known in the Gobiidae family.
The strange, bony look of the goby is more than likely because this particular fish is sick. Dr. Edward Murdy discusses how the protrusions near the head are often found on Taenoides gobies.
“The ridges are covered in sensory structures, known as papillae, which help the fish navigate through its often silty habitat,” according to Earth Touch News. “This also explains the animal’s reduced eyes: just like in the blackness of the deep sea, eyes aren’t of much use in muddy water.”
Even though this isn’t some otherworldly creature, I don’t want to run into any sort of keyless, fanged creature anytime soon.