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Not a Cryptid: Real Venomous Fish That Gives Electric Shocks

It doesn't seem like this should be able to exist.

Have you heard of the northern stargazer fish? The creepy skeleton-like face of this bizarre creature has been going around social media with some even stranger claims that turn out to be true. These fish have a perpetually angry look with a fearsome mouth full of teeth and eyes set close together on top of its head. The unusual upward facing eyes are because the stargazer spends most of its time buried in the sand. Just above those eyes is something even stranger - electric shock organs. But wait, it gets weirder! Behind their face and above the pectoral fins are venomous spines!  

The electric jolt sent out by this horrifying fish is not very dangerous to humans but is still extremely unpleasant. These creepy monsters of the sea are unique among electric fish because they exclusively use these shocks as a weapon and have no electroreceptors that would indicate it is used to locate prey.

There are conflicting reports as to the severity of the venomous spines to unwary humans who are stung. Several sources claim the venom to be one of the most toxic to humans in the world but treatment information indicates it is rarely fatal, so it’s best to avoid being stung in the first place!

Cryptozoologists may do a double take at a venomous sand-dwelling creature that can zap its prey with electric shocks, although the mythological Mongolian death worm is said to live in desert sands rather than ocean sands. Could these tales of the death worm be based on a real fish found not in the desert but near ocean beach sands instead? Miscommunications and incorrect translations have often accounted for mixups in history that create strange legends from far off lands, and desert sands would be an understandable conclusion from a landlocked area.  

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