Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Funky, Freaky and Adorable is One Oregon/Washington Coast Fishie

Published 06/22/2020 at 3:44 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Funky, Freaky and Adorable is One Oregon/Washington Coast Fishie

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; major specials when beaches reopen
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
major specials when beaches reopen
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
major specials when beaches reopen
In Lincoln City:
major specials when beaches reopen
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
major specials when beaches reopen
In Newport:
Look for major specials when beaches reopen
In Waldport
New amenities offered; specials coming when beaches open
In Yachats, Florence
Big specials coming; lodgings not listed anywhere else

(Seaside, Oregon) – They are amusing, kind’a weird-looking and they are certainly colorful. Periodically you’ll find them in Oregon attractions such as at Seaside Aquarium or Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, but they generally don’t get this far south to these waters. (Photos courtesy Seaside Aquarium)

They are a unique and striking little fish called the Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker (Eumicrotremus orbis), and they’ve been described as being like a ping pong ball in the water, a golf ball or a fat little helicopter, among many other things. Not to be confused with the lumpfish – another little goof of the sea that inhabits the Atlantic – these are found in colder waters off the northern Washington coast to the Bering Sea and around Alaska and Japan. This wacky little guy is definitely a find in the Puget Sound area of Washington as well.

According to Tiffany Boothe at the Seaside Aquarium, most of these are an inch or two but they get up to five inches long. They’re a close cousin of the snailfish, and their colorful handle comes from how they stick themselves to rocks or other objects using a sucker on its pectoral area. Many photos show them glued to some surface at an odd angle.

The “spiny” part comes from the fact they don't have little scales as much as bumps covering their whole body.

That rather large sucker enables them to grab onto things rather stubbornly. The spiny lumpsucker is not known for being a good swimmer thanks to their wide, round bodies and little fins, which makes them hang out at the bottom of the ocean more than anywhere else.

According to the Seattle Aquarium, they dwell at rather shallow depths, usually at no more than 500 feet.

Because of their inability to swim well they do wacky things in the water. If you disturb them they’ll start spinning around and move in random directions. This makes them amusing for recreational divers who spot them in Washington waters and for aquarists who take care of them in Seattle, Seaside and Newport. They are notoriously amusing for those who handle them and feed them.

Oregon Coast Hotels in this area - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours

More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....


Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss


Coastal Spotlight

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Bioluminescent Phytoplankton: What Makes Glowing Sand On Oregon Coast, Washin...
One of the more treasured, wondrous and surreal experiences you can have is 'glowing sand' at night. Sciences
Tornado, WWII Submarines and Motor Lodge: Oregon Coast Inns With A Past
A full dive into living Oregon coast history is a refreshing thing. Yet it's rare. Lincoln City, Newport
Wrecking the Peter Iredale: How Oregon Coast History Played Out in 1906
The wee hours of October 25 were wild and gnarly, and they were certainly chaotic if you were out to sea. Warrenton, Astoria, Washington, Seaside
Waves That Go the Wrong Direction: Weird Oregon / Washington Coast Science
The foam is heading outward, towards the sea, instead of towards land. Weather
Popular Yet Layered on Oregon Coast
Like a treasure hunt, there's more to your favorite spot than meets the eye: Warrenton, Pacific City, Depoe Bay
Officials: No Fireworks on Oregon Beaches; Washington Coast Rules, Concerns
All types are illegal on Oregon beaches, on the Washington coast there is a worry of plastic debris
Tourism In Manzanita In 1914 A Rugged But Enticing N. Oregon Coast Adventure
Manzanita and northern Tillamook County were just getting discovered and coming into their own. History
Unique But Subtle Lunar Eclipse on the 4th for Oregon, Washington Coast
It's called a penumbral lunar eclipse, meaning only the edge of the moon will get affected. Science, astronomy

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted

Oregon Coast Lodging


Events Calendar

Oregon Coast Weather

Travel News

Search for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles

Virtual Tours, Maps
Deep Details