The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is a fun place for kids and families to visit all year round, but around Halloween is when the ocean can really let its weirdness shine.
Creep through the list of our favorite spooky-sounding fish below. Most of them you can find right here in Long Island Sound … and at The Maritime Aquarium!
Okay, it’s actually just called a wolffish, but we’re making an exception this October. Atlantic wolffish are known for their fang-like teeth, which are accompanied by rows of powerful molars perfect for crushing crustaceans. As if that wasn’t enough, they have serrated teeth in their throats, too. These bottom-feeders are typically stationary creatures and are known cave-dwellers.
They are found in Long Island Sound, but you probably don’t want to run into one of these guys during a late-night swim – they can grow up to over 6 feet long.
No, this fish doesn’t swim around on a tiny broom. Instead, it is a relatively sedentary creature, preferring to spend its days at the bottom of deeper waters. Like other flounder, the witch flounder is a flatfish, but has a dark grey coloring on its eyed side and is light grey on its underside.
Mummichogs, or “mummies” as they are called, are small fish found in tidal creeks, harbor shores and brackish waters. They can survive in very dirty water thanks to a high carbon dioxide tolerance and are often used as bait. Get mummified in The Maritime Aquarium’s “Salt Marsh” gallery.
There are 11 families and hundreds of species of sculpins, which are another type of bottom-dwelling fish found at the Aquarium. In particular, the sea raven is known for its unique, raggedy appearance. It has rows of sharp teeth that are longer than most other sculpins’ chompers, giving it a voracious bite. They feed on not only smaller crustaceans, mollusks and sea urchins, but on other fish as well. Find them in the “Muddy Bottom” and “Shipwreck” exhibits in the Aquarium’s Depths of the Sound gallery.
The hogchoker may sounds menacing, but it’s just another spooky name for the American sole. It’s said the name comes from hogs that fed on these discarded fish and had difficulty swallowing their hard scales. Hogchokers are small flatfish found in the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of North America, and are particularly abundant in the Chesapeake Bay area. Look for them in The Maritime Aquarium’s “Salt Marsh” gallery.
For even more deep-sea haunts, check out our spectacularly creepy Howl-a-Ween Pinterest board. It’s full of the ocean’s weirdest residents!